DTI initiative planned to stamp out bullying

A Government drive to stamp out workplace bullying should help employers
come to terms with one of the most difficult areas of workplace law, according
to lawyers.

The initiative is being led by the Department of Trade and Industry and
trade union Amicus and is designed to tackle bullying and discrimination in the
workplace.

The £1.8m project is being part funded by the DTI’s Strategic Partnership
Fund and has 10 industry partners including Royal Mail, Acas, BT and Remploy.

Trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt said the scheme would promote a
voluntary charter on dignity at work and produce and anti-bullying information
pack.

It will also design a benchmarking tool to help firms examine their own
situation, train employees as harassment counsellors, highlight beacons of best
practice and provide advice to organisations on the problems of workplace
bullying.

Bess Moseley, a member of the discrimination unit at law firm Addleshaw
Goddard, said the campaign should help raise awareness of the complex
discrimination laws, helping business keep within the regulations.

"There have been confusing differences between the various pieces of
legislation. But newly harmonised laws, together with this campaign, should
make employers’ lives easier. As compensation for discrimination claims is
potentially unlimited, firms must take steps to ensure they are informed and up
to date about recent developments," she said.

www.amicustheunion.org

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