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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 are 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

What is harassment in the workplace?

Harassment is separate from bully 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 will be able to help you figure out 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 Or 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 will 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. 

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 complaint your employer is legally obligated to investigate and take action. If your employer refuses to do so you may need to consider legal action. This 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. 

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.

Contact Our Employment Lawyers Today

Whatever your issue our employment solicitors are here to help.

Call us on 0330 127 8888 for an initial consultation. Or email us on [email protected] and one of our team will get back to you.

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FAQ

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

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