Workplace bullying still endemic within UK
The issue of workplace bullying is frequently brought to the attention of employers and businesses because it is still endemic within UK organisations. It's a serious issue that affects thousands of workplaces and costs British industry dearly - more than £2 billion a year in sick pay, staff turnover and loss of production. Croner, which advises on workplace issues such as bullying, urges employers to be on the alert to the dangers in their own businesses. Failure to do so could see employers facing claims due to a whole host of legislation, which protects employees from harm and unfair treatment in the workplace.
Zero tolerance policy towards bullying
Research carried out by trade union Amicus as part of an anti-workplace bullying project found that hardly any employers (2%) adopted a zero tolerance policy towards bullying. Virtually all employers (97%) had never quantified the impact of bullying. Although 80% had an anti-bullying strategy in place, more than half of those employers questioned in the survey still think bullying is an issue in their organisation. The findings also recognised that bullying is an organisational issue rather than a problem between individuals.
Why you must tackle bullying
Bullying is not only unacceptable on moral grounds, but may, if unchecked or badly handled, create serious problems and costs for an organisation due to poor morale and productivity, and high staff turnover. What many employers don’t realise is that they can be held ‘vicariously liable’ for the bullying behaviour of their staff - even if they have no knowledge of employees’ acts and do not condone them. Claims can be made against employers for constructive dismissal, discrimination and harassment, or for personal injury if the employee suffers psychological harm. Furthermore, employers also risk breaching health and safety legislation if the employee feels in danger of physical harm.