Over the years I have met with many individuals who are experiencing difficulties at work. The difficulties they experience can range from working conditions, performance issues as well as forms of bullying and harassment. This blog talks about what you can do if you are being bullied or harassed at work.
What can you do if you are experiencing forms of bullying at work?
It is common to be too fearful to raise your concerns (either informally or formally) with your employer. However, by not doing so it could result in the issue escalating and before you know where you are, you find yourself in a position which can feel untenable. I would always advise an individual raise their concerns formally before it gets to this stage. It’s important to know that failing to do this can limit the options available to you later on and it can actually weaken your position.
Where should you start?
A good position to start in, is when you first become aware you are being treated differently or bullied. Usually this does not happen immediately but gradually it becomes something you are aware of. It is really helpful to make regular (detailed) diary entries so that you can show a log of what has happened and when it happened. It is surprising at how easy it is to forget specific incidents or dates. By keeping a log it will certainly strengthen your position.
Thereafter, it is a good idea to look at submitting a Formal Grievance to your employer. Your employer is likely to have a Formal Grievance procedure in place, which will give information on how to do this but, at the very least, an employer should adhere to the ACAS on Disciplinaries and Grievances 2009. In essence, you will want to submit your concerns in writing and provide a full chronology of the issues.
Am I being harassed?
Sometimes the bullying can be a form of harassment. However, ‘harassment‘ has a different to that of ‘bullying‘ as it does hold a legal definition within the Equality Act 2010. The legislation provides protection to individuals who have a protected characteristic such as their age, disability, race, religion or belief, sex etc and it defines it as being unwanted conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating an employee’s dignity. If you believe that the harassment you are receiving is because of a protected characteristic, then you can issue a claim to the Employment Tribunal whilst still in employment.
Should I obtain legal advice?
I would recommend you obtain expert legal advice as soon as possible. This will ensure you are fully aware of all of your options and you can also receive expert legal advice along the way which will not only alleviate some of the pressure from you, but it should also help you in feeling more confident that the way you are being treated is unacceptable.
How Can I Help You?
If you are experiencing a problem at work, please telephone 01522 440512 for a no obligation, free consultation to discuss this. Alternatively, for more information on bullying and harassment in the workplace, please visit our website by following this link; https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/workplace-problems/discrimination-bullying-and-harassment/