Call us for a free Consultation on: 0333 772 0611

The thin line between banter and bullying.

Published: 

Mon 7 September, 2020

Banter/Bullying

There is a current trend for comments that cause serious offence to be dismissed as banter – or ‘bantz’ if you were probably born in the 1990s or thereafter.

The fear is banter is becoming a friendlier-sounding term for bullying, and it is being used more frequently as a defence by employees desperate to excuse their offensive behaviour.

An English teacher in Norfolk went as far as to ban the word banter because he claimed children were using the term to legitimise bullying.

This also became a national talking point when ex footballer Jimmy Bullard subjected I’m a Celebrity Get…Me Out of Here campmate and X factor finalist Jake Quickenden to televised tirade of verbal abuse, which he later dismissed as banter.

For employees legitimate banter – the friendly exchange of teasing remarks - is commonplace in many industries. Bullying is offensive, malicious insulting and humiliating.

A grey area appears to have been created where the line between banter and bullying is becoming blurred.

Employees should be aware that if the person on the receiving end of the comments complains it has gone too far, that is a good indication any so-called banter has crossed the line.

Many employers have a clearly set out bullying and harassment policy, which will include definitions of what is considered unacceptable behaviour.

Bullying in the work place is classed as gross misconduct and if proven is likely to lead to summary dismissal.

“A reputation built on success”

For employment law advice or if you are affected or want information and support by any of the issues in this article please give us a call. 0333 772 0611

Were here to help when you need it.

   "A reputation built on Success"

We offer support on a wide range of employment law and HR issues. Our dedicated adviser are here to answer your questions and help you with your concerns. Your call is free and with no oblgation. Calls may be recorded for monitoring and training purposes.

Call us today on 0333 772 0611 or request a call back

Minimize close

Request a call back

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Recent Posts

forum

Testimonials

5

Brilliant service, really informative and professional.

Peter Gallager

5

Really helpful and informative company!

Ian Milton

5

I'm really surprised and impressed by the help they gave me. Surprised because they gave a genuine free legal advice within an hour of me sending in my inquiry.

5

Had a query related to redundancy and the way my employer had been treating me. They were very helpful.

4

Prompt respond and good advice.

5

It was a very stressful time at work for me, where I was being victimised. I was absolutely devastated by the whole situation.

Shola

5

Excellent and speedy advice just what I needed

Fiona Ashton

5

To give such good advice so quickly and for free can only be commended.

Rodge M

5

Outstanding ! The advice given is excellent.

P. Bullock

5

Very helpful 15 minute consultation. Would be happy to consult again. Many thanks.

Dillip