One in five employees experiences bullying or harassment

One-fifth of all UK employees have experienced some form of bullying or harassment over the past two years, research out today shows.

The survey of 2,000 employees by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), in association with pollster MORI and Kingston Business School, found employees who are bullied are more likely to be depressed and anxious, be less satisfied at work, under-perform and want to quit.

These findings are launched ahead of next week’s National Ban Bullying at Work Day  in a bid to urge employers to invest in the resources needed to reduce bullying and harassment at work.

Mike Emmott, CIPD employee relations adviser, said: “Bullying and harassment is a serious problem in many workplaces and employers need to take the issue more seriously. It can damage individuals’ confidence, morale, motivation and, sometimes, their health, causing them to be less productive and effective at work.

“It can also trigger absenteeism, make retention rates go down and both the employer’s reputation and bottom line can take a hit.”

The findings show public sector workers are more likely to experience bullying than their private sector counterparts, 22% compared with 17%.

The groups most likely to become victims of bullying and harassment are black and Asian employees, women and disabled individuals. Nearly one-third (29%) of Asian employees or those from other ethnic groups report having experienced some form of bullying or harassment, compared with 18% of white employees.

Employees with disabilities are at least twice as likely to report having experienced one or more forms of bullying and harassment (37%), compared with non-disabled employees (18%).

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