More than a third of workers have suffered bullying in the workplace according to research from a law firm.
The reported incidents of intimidation include rudeness, gossip, shouting, finger pointing, swearing and humiliation in front of workmates.
Solicitors Slater Gordon found that of the 2000 people quizzed, 37 per cent had been the victim of such behaviour.
Worryingly, about a third of those on the receiving end said fear of reprisals meant they suffered in silence as they were scared of losing their jobs or damaging career prospects.
Employers should to take a zero tolerance approach to bullying in the workplace. Disciplinary policies will usually list bullying as an act of gross misconduct.
Acas characterise bullying as: Offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.
Employers are responsible for preventing bullying and harassment, as they are liable for any harassment suffered by their employees.
It is said workplaces could learn valuable lessons from schools in relation as to how to tackle bullying.
Any employer made aware of any such allegations should take it extremely seriously and act in a timely and confidential manner.
Depending upon the circumstances an initial attempt can be made to resolve the matter informally. However, if this is not appropriate due to the nature of the bullying the allegation should be dealt with formally by an appropriate manager.
Given the seriousness and consequences of an allegation of bullying any investigation conducted should be robust, thorough and fair.
If established that bullying has taken place, prompt action should be instigated to stop it immediately and prevent any recurrence. The perpetrator should be dealt with under the company’s disciplinary policy.
If a complaint is not upheld careful consideration will have to be given as to how best to salvage the working relationship between those involved. It can include mediation, counselling or a change in duties.
This is the link to the research/study which I have mentioned