Bullying in the workplace is unfortunately more common that people think.
- Almost 6 in 10 people have witnessed or suffered bullying in the workplace
- 37% have been bullied themselves
Bullying is a problem across all ages and environments. It’s by no means restricted to school. Not everybody loves their job, but we all deserve to feel comfortable and at ease in the workplace.
It might come as a surprise to some, but bullying isn’t against the law. However, if a colleague or superior is being offensive and intimidating, it could be considered harassment, victimisation or discrimination – and could be illegal under the Equality Act 2010.
What can employers do to prevent bullying in the workplace using HR
As an employer, you have a responsibility for your employees. Not only is it the right thing to do, but you have a legal duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees – and that includes protection from bullying and harassment.
To stop such problems from occurring in the first place, a good policy on accepted behaviour should be in place.
Dealing with and investigating complaints promptly and objectively requires a specialist set of skills. Not every manager will be equipped with the necessary experience – hence why people in HR are such valuable resources to companies. The perception of bullying can vary between individuals, making it important to consider all circumstances before reaching a conclusion. HR professionals are trained to do this sensitively.
Although some issues (such as sexual harassment or workplace violence) may require HR to make formal steps, the decision about what to do next is normally down to the victim. Having HR to support them through this process is beneficial for employee and employer.
How to deal with a bullying complaint
ACAS advise that you should look into any complaint of bullying, harassment, discrimination or victimisation and take it seriously. It is likely that you will use your Company Grievance Policy to handle such a complaint that will give you a structure by which to investigate. If action needs to be taken against the accused, you should use your Company Disciplinary Policy to ensure you handle the case fairly. HR will be able to support with both these processes.
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Slice HR are here to help when you get a sensitive and tricky situation to deal with. We can draw on our expert knowledge and experience to manage the process both for you as the business and ensure it is fair and in line with legislation for the employee.
If you would like to discuss our services, please use the contact form on our website or email us on email@example.com and our friendly team will be happy to share how we can support you.