The definition of bullying and harassment is any unwanted behaviour that makes someone feel intimidated, degraded, humiliated or offended. It may not be obvious or apparent to others, and may happen in the workplace without your knowledge.
Bullying or harassment can be between two employees, or it may involve groups of people. It could be blatant or subtle. It may be persistent or an isolated incident. It can also occur in written communications, such as emails, or by phone.
Examples of bullying are
- spreading malicious rumours, or insulting someone
- excluding someone
- unfair treatment
- deliberately undermining someome by constant criticism
Harassment is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010. Harassment is unwanted conduct which is related to somone’s age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
Remember, employees do not always feel able or confident enough to complain, espicially if the harasser is a manager or senior member of staff. Sometimes they will simply resign. You should therefore ensure that staff are aware of options available to them to deal with potential bullying or harassment, and that any grievance they raise will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Contact us if you have any questions or would like furrther information on how to prevent or deal with harassment in the workplace.