July 29, 2008

The shocking cost of workplace bullying

The world's biggest anti-bullying project reveals that employers' failure to tackle the root causes of bullying in the workplace is costing the UK economy GBP13.75 billion a year.

The project also reveals that Black, Minority and Ethnic (BME) workers are more likely to be targets of workplace bullying and harassment than other workers yet are less likely to have a support network to help them through the experience.

In 'The Costs of Workplace Bullying', the project has estimated that some 33.5 million jobs were lost by UK organisation in 2007 as a result of bullying-related absenteeism. Almost 200,000 employees considered leaving their jobs and the equivalent of 100 million days in productivity were lost as a result of bullying.

Cath Speight, Unite acting head of equalities said: "Employers can no longer be in any doubt about the business case for tackling bullying. It has a devastating impact on individuals, but businesses suffer too. Workers who suffer from bullying, and those who witness it, experience low morale and are more likely to take time off or leave their jobs."

A second report, 'BME Employee Experiences of Workplace Bullying`, is calling upon employers to improve anti-bullying activities in their workplaces.

Cath Speight added: "The shocking truth is that Black and Minority Ethnic workers are more likely to be targets of workplace bullying. Employers need to recognise this and take action to combat this."

The report's main author, Dr Sabir Giga from the University of Bradford, said: "Bullying is impacting on Black Minority Ethnic workers' job satisfaction, promotion opportunities and health. Employers must develop a zero tolerance to bullying so that all workers are treated with dignity and respect."

The Dignity at Work partnership project is also publishing its 'Action Pack', offering solutions to employers and union representatives seeking to tackle workplace bullying.

Baroness Ann Gibson, Chair of the Dignity at Work Project, said: "Workers who experience bullying are more likely to go off sick or leave and colleagues who witness bullying are also less likely to stick around. Employers who choose to ignore bullying do so at huge costs to society."

From: http://www.itnews.it

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