Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect at work, yet sadly, bullying is all too common. A survey by YouGov in 2015 found that almost a third of people (29%) have been bullied at work with women (34%) being more likely to be victims than men (23%).

Paul Cook, Senior Adviser at ACAS joined us to set the scene and explore these issues on the evening of the 27th March. Paul provided a fascinating insight into the legal status of bullying and harassment. Interestingly, unlike discrimination (on the base of race, colour, gender, orientation, etc.) bullying does not have a formal definition in law. However, it is is illegal and it seems to me the ACAS definition is a pretty good one:

“Bullying and harassment means any unwanted behaviour that makes someone feel intimidated, degraded, humiliated or offended.”

Such behaviour includes spreading malicious rumours, or insulting someone, exclusion or victimisation, unfair treatment and deliberately undermining a competent worker by constant criticism.

Unsurprisingly this emotive topic brought up some challenging queries from the audience, and it was great to see attendees rallying round to offer constructive ideas and support. Our thanks to Paul for handling these queries with sensitivity and for a great session overall but especially to everyone who came and shared their personal experiences and views.

Links to further information

Here are some links to resources from ACAS if you feel you are being bullied or harassed and also for managers and employers: