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Bullied at Work Claim

Being Bullied at Work is More Common than You May Think

Being bullied at work in the UK is, unfortunately, not an uncommon occurrence. In a recent survey conducted within its membership, the Manufacturing, Science and Finance Union (MSF) found that one third of those questioned considered bullying at work a major problem. An earlier survey carried out by Staffordshire University disclosed that 78 per cent of people had witnessed bullying in the workplace, and 51 per cent had personally experienced being bullied at work in the UK.

Despite regulations prohibiting harassment of a sexual or racial nature, bullying at work still occurs due to fears, prejudices and narrow-mindedness. However, whereas a common misconception exists that the school playground bully has evolved into the workplace bully, surveys conducted by ACAS and Unison have found that, in 75 per cent of reported bullied at work claims, the bully was a manager or supervisor with authority over the victim.

Qualifying for a Bullied at Work Claim

In order to qualify for a bullied at work claim, you must have suffered some form of personal injury due to the negligence of your employer. Hurt feelings is insufficient grounds to claim for being bullied at work, and you must have sustained some form of provable physical or emotional damage in order to make a bullied at work claim. Physical injury can often be established via your doctor´s medical notes and, if you are suffering from anxiety, depression, insomnia or a lack of confidence, you should also discuss with your GP if this could be attributable to being bullied at work.

Employers have a legal duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to provide a safe working environment for their employees. This legislation goes beyond providing personal protection equipment and first aid facilities to ensuring that the workplace is safe and that there is no risk to health. If your health is deteriorating — either physically or psychologically — due to bullying at work, you are entitled to claim for being bullied at work.

Before Making a Bullied at Work Claim

Before making a bullied at work claim, there are certain procedures you should follow. However, these measures should only be carried out when it is safe to do so and without jeopardising your job. Even though laws are in place to prevent victimisation when an employee has utilised a grievance procedure, if an employer is the bully, he may fail to take heed of these laws. Keep notes of the dates on which you followed these procedures and, wherever possible, inform a trustworthy colleague or trade union official of your actions.

  • Tell the person to stop. You may wish to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union official when you do this and under no circumstances should you attempt this approach if you have genuine reason to believe the bullying will escalate as a result.
  • Advise your manager (or person above them if your manager is the bully) that you are being bullied at work. Put your grievance in writing and keep a copy, in order to support any future claim for being bullied at work.
  • Collect evidence of being bullied at work and present this to the personnel department of your company or trade union official. Your evidence should include the times, dates and locations of when you were bullied at work and if there were any witnesses to the event(s).

Free Bullied at Work Claim Advice

Although you do not need to exhibit physical or psychological symptoms to bring a bullied at work claim to an employment tribunal (you have three months from the date of the bullying at work incident in which to do so), your bullied at work claim is likely to have a more positive response if you bring a civil case against your employer. You have three years in which to claim for being bullied at work from the date on which it last happened, but due to the psychological consequences of remaining in a situation where you are bullied at work, it is in your best interests to seek professional legal advice at the earliest possible opportunity.

Therefore, if you believe that you are being bullied at work for any reason, and would like to find out if you are entitled to make a bullied at work claim, call our free claims advice service. You will be able to discuss your case with a solicitor who has knowledge of employment law and experience of claims for being bullied at work in the UK and establish whether you have a bullied at work claim which is worth your while to pursue. Kindly note that all calls to our free claims advice service are completely confidential and there is no obligation on you to proceed with a claim for being bullied at work once you have spoken with us.