Two million victims of bullies in six months

About two million people have been bullied at work in the past six months, many of them by their managers, according to TUC figures published today to coincide with Ban Bullying at Work Day.

At a launch in London later today, organised by the Andrea Adams Trust, the TUC will call on the government to change the law to prevent millions more workers becoming the new victims of the UK’s office bullies.

Bullying and the inability of most employers to deal with the growing problem accounts for the loss of some 18 million working days each year, the union body said.

TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said: “Employers should be tackling bullying just as they would treat any other workplace hazard.

“All workplaces, whatever their size, should have a policy which states that harassment and intimidation is unacceptable and that those who delight in the victimisation of others will be treated severely.

“The victims of bullying need to be listened to and supported, not dismissed as workplace wimps.”

Last week, Personnel Today and the Andrea Adams Trust released the results of our annual survey into workplace bullying.

The survey of more than 1,400 HR professionals, revealed that almost 70% have witnessed or have been aware of bullying in their organisation, down from 87% in 2004 and 93% in 1999.

The survey, conducted by research company Digital Opinion, revealed that bullying takes a variety of forms and is usually perpetrated by the victim’s immediate manager.

Humiliation and ridicule, unfair criticism and intimidating behaviour were the most common examples. Nearly two-thirds (62%) have come across incidences of verbal abuse and 5% physical abuse.

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