The TUC today calls on employers to do more to protect their staff from victimisation and harassment.
To coincide with National Ban Bullying at Work Day, the TUC has produced a guide which suggests that one in ten workers were bullied in the last six months.
Indeed, it emerged earlier this year that social services staff were the third largest group of callers to a national advice line for workplace bullying, accounting for more than 800 cases over the eight years it ran. Only teachers and healthcare professionals reported more cases.
Nushra Mansuri, professional officer with the British Association of Social Workers, says bullying in social services is endemic and BASW advice and representations officer Martin Weinbren says the association’s advice line receives at least one call every day relating to bullying.
A 2006 ruling in the House of Lords means that a victim of bullying no longer has to prove that their employer was negligent in failing to prevent it taking place.
Here are some tips:-
* Try to use other avenues before lodging a formal grievance. “Often it’s about perceptions, or a clash of personalities, or cultural misunderstandings.” Weinbrun says
* Keep a diary – whatever is written down and presented to an employer can retrospectively be seen as a grievance. Do not use a tape recorder
• Keep all correspondence relating to performance
• Get witnesses and avoid being alone with the bully
• Reply to any disparaging claims by the bully by e-mail and take evidence to their trade union or professional representative early on, keeping them informed
• Once employers become aware of a case of bullying or conflict, the Chartered Institute for Personnel Development (CIPD) advises them to use mediation services where possible to reduce the number of disputes that become dragged out into costly industrial tribunals.
Advice is also available from:-