Bullying and Harassment

by Andrew Wood

Common questions

  1. What constitutes bullying and harassment?
  2. What should I do if I am being bullied?
  3. What should I do if I am accused of bullying?
  4. How do I protect my business from bullying and harassment claims?

 

1. What constitutes bullying and harassment?

Bullying or harassment is any action or behaviour that makes the victim feel that their rights as a human being have been violated. This could be, among other things, where they are abused verbally or physically, excluded from work activities, asked to carry out demeaning work that is outside their job description or have had to endure rude and offensive jokes.

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2. What should I do if I am being bullied?

Wherever possible, it is always best to try and resolve these issues informally. In any case, seek advice and support from people in a position to help and ensure that you are aware of the policies and procedures that you should follow. Always keep a diary of the events, which should include times, occurrence and how they made you feel.

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3. What should I do if I am accused of bullying?

Try to resolve the situation in an informal manner and without causing more issues. Discuss the situation with somebody who can advise and guide you. Ensure that you do not exacerbate the situation and follow the procedures and guidelines laid out by your organisation. Remain constructive and objective throughout the process and do not get drawn into arguments and gossip.

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4. How do I protect my business from bullying and harassment claims?

The best way to protect your organisation from bullying and harassment claims is to put in place a clear policy and make it clear that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated. You should also ensure that all staff are consistently and regularly trained on the topic. Make certain that your managers are fully aware of their responsibilities under the policy and that they create a positive environment, one in which staff are treated fairly and with due consideration.

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