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Manchester & London Solicitors

Employment Law

Bullying and Harassment

Employment solicitors in Manchester and London specialising in Bullying and Harassment at work

Everyone should be able to feel safe and happy in the workplace. If you feel like you are being bullied or harassed you are entitled to take a stand and the law will protect you. No matter how big or small you think the problem is, our solicitors can help you put a stop to bullying and harassment in the workplace, allowing you to feel safe and happy again. 

What Is Bullying In The Workplace?

For most people a certain level of ‘banter’ in the workplace is considered acceptable, all too often what started as harmless fun turns into relentless and hurtful bullying. There is a fine line between banter and bullying and particularly in the workplace we must be careful not to push colleagues too far. 

Some examples of bullying include:

  • Excessive criticism
  • Threats to job security
  • Verbal abuse, including constant teasing and sexual inuendo
  • Humiliated and demeaned in front of others
  • Unfairly excluded from team activities
  • Sexual harassment

What Is Harassment In The Workplace?

Harassment is separate from bullying as it relates to the protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010. The Equality Act 2010 has defined harassment as “unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the individual”. The comments do not have to be made to you directly to be considered harassment. If you hear the comments, even accidentally, it can be harassment. Our solicitors are on hand to help if you have a case.

Characteristics protected by the Equality Act include:

  • Race
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marital status
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

How To Deal With Bullying And Harassment?

In the first instance, and only if you feel safe to do so, you may be able to talk to the person who is bullying or harassing you. Perhaps take along a colleague you feel comfortable with as support and to witness the conversation. If you do not feel safe approaching the person who is bullying or harassing you then you do not need to do so. 

In most cases the colleague who is bullying or harassing you may not be aware that their behaviour is causing you distress. In some instances, a friendly quiet word is all that is needed to resolve the issue and prevent the bullying.

If your colleague refuses to apologise or change their behaviour, this first meeting is an important first step to recording the issue. In this situation your next port of call is to talk to a person in authority. Your line manager or Human Resources is normally the most appropriate option.

Once you have made an official formal complaint your employer is legally obligated to investigate, take action and go through a grievance procedure. Employers have a duty of care to ensure everyone is treated fairly at work. If your employer fails to adequately deal with bullying and harassment once they are aware of such allegations then they will be seen to have breached their duty of care to you. If your employer refuses to do so you may need to consider legal action. 

Taking legal action would first involve contacting the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) who will attempt to find a resolution. If they are not able to you will then need to proceed to the Employment Tribunal. It is important that you act quickly, there are strict time frames on making an application to the Tribunal. 

As well as providing support and guidance along each step of your bullying and harassment claim, we can help seek compensation for damages caused to your mental or physical state and for constructive dismissal if you felt the need to resign from your job role due to the severity of the bullying and harassment received.

How Can Monarch Solicitors Help?

Our specialist employment solicitors have decades of experience dealing with employment issues. They are well equipped to deal with a whole manner of different cases no matter how big or small. 

Our team have had great success negotiating settlement offers, taking claims to the Employment Tribunal, and many more. Every person we represent receives the same high quality of treatment and personal service.

Legal Costs & Service Transparency

If you are considering taking Court action due to a breach of employment law the legal costs should be weighed against the amount likely to be received in damages.

We know it’s important to your business that the legal costs of the dispute are kept under control so as to not affect your cash flow.

We’ll not only ensure that you’re aware of costs implications from the outset, we’ll provide you with step-by-step cost estimates or fixed fees for each stage of the work. We’ll also consider funding options to suit your business needs so you can be sure that our legal services are cost effective.

For more information regarding legal funding options, please click here for more information.

About Our Employment Team

At Monarch Solicitors, our employment lawyers have vast experience, expertise, and knowledge in resolving all kinds of domestic and international employment disputes, whether it be complex or technical or simply a disagreement over pay and working conditions.

We have particular expertise in relation to the following areas:

Contact Our Employment Solicitors

Our expert employment lawyers are available to discuss your bullying and harassment claims.

Please contact our employment advisors for immediate assistance by sending an email to us at [email protected] and one of our employment solicitors shall call you back. 

Alternatively, please call our employment solicitors in Manchester on 0330 127 8888 for a no obligation discussion.

Monarch Solicitors are a leading UK law firm and our award-winning Manchester solicitors, London solicitors and Birmingham solicitors offer their legal expertise nationally and internationally.

We are also able to leverage an international network spanning across Hong KongTurkey and Dubai to provide seamless assistance with cross-border matters relating to bullying & harassment.

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Most frequent questions and answers

The first instance would be to report to your line manager or supervisor. Ordinarily, the business should follow a step of procedures to investigate your claim to ensure a fair and objective assessment of your claim. If your employer does not resolve the issue or if you think your employer has not put enough effort to resolve your issue then you may need to consider legal advice.

Common examples of bullying and harassment in the workplace include:

  • Extreme and constant criticism, teasing, or abuse
  • Threats made to your job security
  • Victimisation
  • Unfair treatment
  • Excluded from group activities 
  • Refused equal opportunities to your colleagues

You should refer to in-house policies and concerns in writing in the form of a formal Stage 1 Grievance. If your concerns are not dealt with keep a diary of events including any evidence and escalate your concerns to a senior manager. 

You don’t have to be able to prove you’re being bullied to raise a concern with your employer, although having evidence makes investigating a bullying complaint easier. Once you have informed your employer the onus is on them to do a thorough investigation.

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