Workplace bullying is becoming a global problem that is more prevalent in larger organisations, despite the proliferation of anti-harassment policies.
A major global study of more than 1,800 HR and finance professionals has revealed that one in four work in an office where bullying has taken place.
In the UK, around 24% of respondents reported bullying in the workplace, despite the fact that 86% had anti-bullying policies.
According to the survey, bullying is far more common in firms with more than 100 staff, with 27% suffering, compared with only 19% of staff in smaller companies.
Despite a recent strengthening of harassment laws and a plethora of high-profile employment tribunals, more than a third of firms still don’t have policies to deal with workplace bullying.
The survey by recruitment consultants Robert Half covered 11 nations and identified The Netherlands (39% of employees bullied) and Germany (38%) as the worst offenders.
Employers in Ireland fared well, with 98% providing a confidential system for their employees to talk about bullying or harassment.
Phil Sheridan, who commissioned the research for Robert Half, urged HR professionals to take a more proactive stance.