The UK workplace is increasingly becoming a zero-tolerance zone for bullies,
according to research by the Work Foundation.
Its survey of nearly 300 HR professionals reveals that eight out of 10 organisations
now have codes of conduct on bullying and harassment.
A third of respondents report workers breaking the code would be sacked,
while 6 per cent would respond with a written warning.
Just under a third of those surveyed consider codes on bullying to be a
priority for a well-run workplace.
Angela Ishmael, head of dignity at work for The Work Foundation, said the
findings show that bullying is no longer tolerated by the vast majority of
employers in the UK.
"Not so long ago bullying was seen by many organisations as little more
than a challenging and forceful work style. It is good to see the tide is
turning and that employers are more committed to creating work environments
where employees no longer need to fear work."
Ishmael believes companies that have codes of conduct in place reflect good
"Such initiatives need backing from the top to make the UK workplace a
genuinely bully-free zone ," she said.
"It needs supportive colleagues, managers who will help people to raise
their concerns and a responsible work culture that tackles the causes and
consequences of bullying and harassment before individuals are victimised and
Elaine Clarke, head of personnel at Birmingham International Airport – highlighted
as a best practice organisation by The Work Foundation – is in no doubt that an
effective anti-bullying and harassment policy is part of creating an efficient
"Communication is the key so that everybody in an organisation
understands their responsibility under the policy. It also raises awareness and
demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to the policy," she said.