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Workplace bullies becoming more common

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Employment law cases regarding bullying in the workplace have more than doubled in the last six months, with the recession being blamed for increasing psychological harm.

Conciliation service Acas has found that one in ten employees have been unfairly bullied or harassed, while separate studies from employment union Unison have shown that bullying has more than doubled in a decade.

As bullying increases, so too does its presence in unfair dismissal and discrimination cases. But, with more and more employees feeling attacked and marginalised, support groups are struggling to cope with an increasing demand for help.

“The recession has become a playground for many bullies who know they can get away with it. Under pressure, budgets have got to be met. Managers are bullying people as a way of forcing them out and getting costs down,” said Lyn Witheridge, who ran the Andrea Adams Trust bullying helpline until last year.

“We have been overwhelmed by a huge rise in complaints over the last two years. We had to close the charity and the helpline because we couldn’t cope with the number of calls – they more than doubled to 70 a day.”

An explosion in employment rights, and increasing awareness amongst workers, means that bullying need not be suffered in the workplace.

Although “bullying” is not a legal term, cases of bullying at work have arisen through employment, health and safety and protection from harassment legislation. Solicitors are always available to discuss any contentious employment matters and harassed employees should not be hesitant when considering their legal standpoint.

Written by Andrew Hodges

January 19, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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