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Bullying and harassment
In a workplace context, “harassment” is unwanted conduct related to a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 (other than marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity) that has the purpose of violating a person's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person. Harassment in the workplace can also occur where a person reasonably considers conduct to have that effect, even if the effect is unintended.
“Bullying” is not defined in UK employment law. Acas defines workplace bullying as “offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the person being bullied”. The Health and Safety Executive stresses that bullying is a pattern of behaviour rather than isolated instances, and states that it “involves negative behaviour being targeted at an individual, or individuals, repeatedly and persistently over time”.
16 Jul 2019
With traditional union membership in decline, employees are finding new ways to voice their opposition to corporate decisions, as shown...
12 Jul 2019
The House of Commons is in need of an HR department to help stamp out the bullying and harassment that many MPs’ staff experience.
11 Jul 2019
The government has published its consultation on plans to strengthen protections against sexual harassment at work, including harassment from third...
10 Jul 2019
A doctor has claimed he was dismissed because his Christian beliefs prohibited him from addressing transgender benefit claimants by their...
26 Jun 2019
Unions, women’s rights organisations and charities have increased pressure on the government to make employers responsible for protecting their staff...
20 Jun 2019
Only a fifth of NHS staff say their employer has implemented a sexual harassment policy, indicating that workers believe it...
19 Jun 2019
Following high-profile allegations of sexual harassment by staff, employees are now more empowered to speak up about inappropriate behaviour than...
14 Jun 2019
Further evidence of a culture of lewd behaviour at Lloyd's of London emerged this week after an executive was suspended after sending a sexually suggestive email about a female colleague.
11 Jun 2019
Non-disclosure agreements should not be used to prevent employees from discussing allegations of discrimination and harassment with other staff, while...
10 Jun 2019
Male managers may be restricting their work with female colleagues, according to US research.
4 Jun 2019
A judge who is seeking a clarification in the law to recognise judges as workers will make her case at...
31 May 2019
An employee who dressed as a “black and white minstrel” at a work Christmas party and sung a “racist” song...
23 May 2019
A significant culture shift, driven by leadership teams, is needed to tackle...
23 May 2019
Bullying in the workplace does not need to be aggressive or overt to cause real distress to employees, and sticky legal situations for employers. Setting unrealistic targets can also be interpreted as bullying, warns Kate Hilpern.