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”.


Culture shift needed to tackle discrimination against visibly-different staff

A significant culture shift, driven by leadership teams, is needed to tackle...

Bullying in the workplace:setting unrealistic targets

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.

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amazon working conditions

Amazon investors told to press for better working conditions

20 May 2019

Investors have been urged to put pressure on Amazon to improve working conditions at its UK warehouses, following reports that...

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Seven in 10 LGBT staff sexually harassed at work

17 May 2019

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff are facing “shockingly high” levels of sexual harassment and assault, but almost two-thirds...

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female-lawyers-sexual-harassment

Four in 10 female lawyers experience sexual harassment

15 May 2019

Nearly four in 10 (38%) female lawyers in the UK have been sexually harassed, a report has found, prompting a...

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Shop staff verbally abused or assaulted once a fortnight, union claims

30 Apr 2019

A retail union has urged the government to better protect shop workers from violence and verbal abuse, after it emerged...

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Three quarters of people want less physical contact at work

24 Apr 2019

Three quarters of UK workers (76%) want the amount of physical contact they experience in the workplace reduced, while 42%...

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Academics forced to sign NDAs to cover up bullying and harassment allegations

17 Apr 2019

Dozens of academics have been forced to sign non-disclosure agreements to stop bullying, discrimination and sexual misconduct allegations coming out,...

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sexual harassment case

City firm IMF settles sexual harassment case

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.

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Ted Baker revamps HR policies after sexual harassment investigation

12 Apr 2019

Ted Baker is bolstering its HR policies to ensure acceptable workplace conduct following an investigation into “forced hugging” and other...

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Royal Mail driver told she should be ‘in the kitchen’ wins case

8 Apr 2019

A Royal Mail driver who was told she should be “back home and in the kitchen” has won £2,600 in...

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Could #MeToo clauses for start-ups put a stop to harassment?

5 Apr 2019

Investors in start-ups are putting young companies under increased scrutiny to ensure they have a clean record on sexual harassment....

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Engineer lets rip at flatulent manager in bid for compensation

26 Mar 2019

An engineer in Australia is demanding almost £1m in compensation ($AUS 1.8m) because his manager constantly farted in their small,...

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Putting a stop to the misuse of NDAs

19 Mar 2019

After the government this month outlined plans to outlaw the unethical use of non-disclosures agreements, Michael Hibbs looks at situations...

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Dismissal for asserting a statutory right – a trap for the unwary

5 Mar 2019

Most employers wanting to part company with an employee will be aware of the most common claims that the individual...

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