February 20, 2008

Management turns perpetrator as bullying cases soar

As many as seven in ten employees have felt bullied at work with almost half of bullying instigated by management.

The research conducted by Peninsula employment law service shows that bullying has increased significantly since 2003, with 69 per cent of employees saying that they have been exposed to bullying in the workplace, compared to 52 per cent in 2003.

Worryingly, just under half (44 per cent) say the bully is a member of management whilst 56 per cent who have felt victimised say that they were bullied by a work colleague.

Sadly, 62 per cent of those who feel they have been bullied in work say that it has had a detrimental impact on their personal life.

David Price, head of employee relations at Peninsula said he ‘urged’ employers to have a system in place where workers could speak to someone if they felt bullied and said bosses should consider having an Equal Opportunities Policy and an IT policy to prevent cyber bullying.

“When talking to employees it is apparent that those that are bullied by management or their employer are reluctant to work as hard as those that are not bullied. Silent bullying presents a major problem, where someone feels isolated when left out of group discussions and decisions. Employees and employers need to remember that harassment is in the eye of the recipient and the question employers need to consider is whether the situation could be considered severe enough for the employee to take legal action,” said Price.

The research showed that 69 per cent of workers would never consider reporting bullying to their employer whilst 89 per cent are not sure whether their employer has policies relating to bullying and harassment at work.

HR Zone, 20th February 2008

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