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”.


Former soldiers win race discrimination claim

Two former British soldiers have won a race discrimination claim against the Ministry of Defence.

KPMG

KPMG partners leave firm after WhatsApp probe

9 Sep 2019

A misconduct investigation at services giant KPMG into the use of WhatsApp messages by a senior manager has led to the departure of three top executives.

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Google releases strict guidelines on employee communications

28 Aug 2019

Google has released new workplace guidelines urging staff not to insult one another or make misleading comments about the company....

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McMillan Williams had ‘a culture of fear and bullying’ ex-employee claims

19 Aug 2019

A former partner at high street law firm McMillan Williams has claimed it created a “morally bankrupt environment” that allowed...

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Alex Salmond: Botched HR investigation leads to £500k pay-out

14 Aug 2019

Former first minister Alex Salmond has received more than £500,000 in legal costs from the Scottish government following a botched...

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Armed forces: minorities more likely to make complaints

7 Aug 2019

Ministers “must get a grip” on tackling the disproportionately high number of complaints raised by female and ethnic minority armed...

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Emma Watson launches sexual harassment helpline

5 Aug 2019

Emma Watson says the scale of sexual harassment in the workplace may finally be understood as she launched a legal advice line to help women understand their rights.

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Employment law changes: 10 proposals in the pipeline for HR

2 Aug 2019

Amid all the political turmoil in July, employers will be forgiven for missing a flurry of proposed new employment laws...

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Duty of care and the employee accused of wrongdoing

31 Jul 2019

All HR professionals are familiar with the stress and anxiety associated with a grievance or disciplinary process. Ashleigh Webber examines...

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Steep rise in sexual harassment complaints involving law firms

26 Jul 2019

An apparent sharp rise in the number of sexual harassment complaints involving solicitors has drawn attention to law firms' misuse of gagging orders.

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New laws on misuse of NDAs in the workplace

22 Jul 2019

The government has announced legislation to address the misuse of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in the workplace – including clauses designed...

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armed forces harassment

MoD vows to tackle harassment and bullying in the armed forces

16 Jul 2019

New measures to stamp out the discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment in some areas of the armed forces have been...

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How employees are using social activism to make their voices heard

16 Jul 2019

With traditional union membership in decline, employees are finding new ways to voice their opposition to corporate decisions, as shown...

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bullying in parliament

‘HR department’ needed to tackle bullying in Parliament

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.

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Consultation includes protections from third-party sexual harassment

11 Jul 2019

The government has published its consultation on plans to strengthen protections against sexual harassment at work, including harassment from third...

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