Violence at work

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines work-related violence as “any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to work”. This includes verbal abuse and threats, in addition to physical abuse.

Employees in many public-facing roles are at risk of being attacked by customers, while other positions, such as prison officer and police officer, are inherently dangerous. Employers may have a policy on violence at work, which should set out preventative steps and support available to victims.

Domestic violence outside work may also have an impact on employees’ health and wellbeing.

Assaults on NHS staff increase 10% in a year

Physical assaults on NHS staff in England rose by 9.7% compared to 2015/16, according to new figures published today.



Morrisons vicariously liable for employee’s attack on customer

2 Mar 2016

The supermarket Morrisons is vicariously liable for the actions of an employee who seriously assaulted a customer, the Supreme Court...

Continue Reading
Misconduct at a work event can result in disciplinary sanctions and/or dismissal.

Bank worker who licked – then punched – colleague at party was fairly dismissed

16 Nov 2015

The EAT has held that a bank worker who licked the face of a colleague...

Continue Reading

Tribunal watch: Man dismissed over domestic violence allegations claims sex discrimination

18 May 2015

An employee who was sacked for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend after a workplace party tried unsuccessfully to claim sex discrimination....

Continue Reading
Definition of disability

Definition of disability: guidance on exclusion of “tendency to physically abuse”

6 May 2015

In DLA Piper’s latest case report, the upper tribunal in a special educational needs case provides guidance on the exclusion...

Continue Reading

April Fool’s Day: when workplace pranks go wrong

1 Apr 2015

Workplace pranks are harmless fun most of the time, but there are occasions when a practical joke in the workplace...

Continue Reading
The BBC is currently investigating a fracas involving Jeremy Clarkson. Photo: Ben Queenborough/BPI/REX

How should the BBC deal with Jeremy Clarkson?

13 Mar 2015

Following Jeremy Clarkson’s suspension from Top Gear, employment lawyer Darryll Thomas examines the next steps the BBC should take.

Continue Reading

Tribunal watch: Unfair dismissal of manager “forced to dress up as Santa”

9 Mar 2015

An employment tribunal has held that a manager was constructively dismissed after he was forced to dress up as Father...

Continue Reading

Unison speaks out at ‘appalling’ increase in attacks on NHS staff

1 Jan 2011

Hospital staff and paramedics have been at the sharp end of a significant increase in violent attacks on NHS workers,...

Continue Reading

Foxconn managers raise pay and ask staff to pledge not to commit suicide

28 May 2010

Managers at the Foxconn factory in China are struggling to maintain calm after another employee attempted suicide.The electronics worker tried...

Continue Reading

Legal Dilemma: Staff safety at care home

11 Jan 2010

Q: I own a care home. Recently a member of staff was assaulted by a relative of a resident. Other...

Continue Reading

Lincolnshire sees rise in attacks on NHS staff

27 Nov 2009

NHS figures have revealed that more than 450 health care workers in Lincolnshire have been attacked during the past 12...

Continue Reading

NHS staff in Wales not protected against violence

1 Jul 2009

Violence and aggression towards NHS workers in Wales have been tackled with a “lack of urgency”, according to a cross-party...

Continue Reading

Crisis management: Keep calm and carry on

27 May 2009

Defusing potentially violent situations in the workplace is something that all employers need to be prepared for. Phil Boucher talks...

Continue Reading

Local government staff report high levels of violence and abuse

15 May 2009

Workforce morale in local government has hit rock bottom as staff have reported high levels of violence and abuse.

Continue Reading