Bullying at work is a serious health and safety breach. It is a form of misconduct and must be dealt with properly.

What is workplace bullying

Workplace bullying is repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that can cause physical or mental harm. Bullying can be physical, verbal, psychological or social. This may include victimising, humiliating, intimidating or threatening a person.

A single or occasional incident of insensitive or rude behaviour towards another person isn’t considered workplace bullying, but it could become more serious and shouldn’t be ignored.

Bullying can happen not just between managers and staff, but also among co-workers, contractors, customers, clients or visitors.

Employers have legal obligations to make sure that their workers are healthy and safe at work. This includes managing the risks of bullying at work.

If bullying causes physical harm, this can be a criminal offence, which should be reported to the Police. Call 111 if you’re in immediate physical danger.

Steps for the person who feels bullied

What workers can do if they feel they are being bullied.

Steps for employers to prevent and respond to bullying

What employers can do to address bullying at work.

Further steps in dealing with bullying complaints

What to do if bullying complaints are not resolved within an organisation.

Page last revised: 07 October 2020

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