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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”.
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.
20 May 2019
Investors have been urged to put pressure on Amazon to improve working conditions at its UK warehouses, following reports that...
17 May 2019
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff are facing “shockingly high” levels of sexual harassment and assault, but almost two-thirds...
15 May 2019
Nearly four in 10 (38%) female lawyers in the UK have been sexually harassed, a report has found, prompting a...
30 Apr 2019
A retail union has urged the government to better protect shop workers from violence and verbal abuse, after it emerged...
24 Apr 2019
Three quarters of UK workers (76%) want the amount of physical contact they experience in the workplace reduced, while 42%...
17 Apr 2019
Dozens of academics have been forced to sign non-disclosure agreements to stop bullying, discrimination and sexual misconduct allegations coming out,...
15 Apr 2019
Nathalie Abildgaard who took on her former employer over sexual harassment has been paid £270,000 ($492,000) by the City firm, which opted to settle just prior to a further legal hearing.
12 Apr 2019
Ted Baker is bolstering its HR policies to ensure acceptable workplace conduct following an investigation into “forced hugging” and other...
8 Apr 2019
A Royal Mail driver who was told she should be “back home and in the kitchen” has won £2,600 in...
5 Apr 2019
Investors in start-ups are putting young companies under increased scrutiny to ensure they have a clean record on sexual harassment....
26 Mar 2019
An engineer in Australia is demanding almost £1m in compensation ($AUS 1.8m) because his manager constantly farted in their small,...
19 Mar 2019
After the government this month outlined plans to outlaw the unethical use of non-disclosures agreements, Michael Hibbs looks at situations...
5 Mar 2019
Most employers wanting to part company with an employee will be aware of the most common claims that the individual...