Workplace bullying - rallying call

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Mosaic | 11:17 Fri 16th Dec 2011 | Jobs & Education
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It seems that a national campaign to achieve effective legislation is under way:
if you have been bullied at work or know a friend who has, spreading the word about the campaign and joining them on facebook might be the start of a force for good.
Please be careful about revealing your identity through FB if you are invovled say in a gagging order of any kind from your bully employers.
But you never know, this might have a good ending.


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You are right that there is no specific legislation for this, Mosaic - it relies on existing legislation.
For example, an implied breach of contract can be demonstrated as a civil action if an employer fails to provide reasonable support. Or the Employment Rights Act 1996 can be used to demonstrate constructive dismissal via an Employment Tribunal. Or the TULRA Act 1992 deals with specific types of intimidation.
However the issue is perhaps that not enough employers realise their responsibility to take allegations of bullying seriously and investigate. This requires a company policy and appropriate practices that align to the policy.
Whether a specific piece of legislation will help I don't know, but will still be bullying allegations which are found to be 'reasonable' attempts by a manager to improve poor individual performance. These are seen by the individual as bullying.
These is no right or wrong in this and every case is different. Employers need to get smarter at working with this and making balanced judgements that filter out the emotions of both parties to the conflict that leads to bullying allegations. Courts should then only be a place of last resort.
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I agree that every case is different Builders, but.....
Forty years ago it would have been unthinkable that the law would reign in the actions and instincts of a chain-smoking boss who liked a bit of slap and tickle and couldn't stand blacks or irish. Firstly I believe acknowledging and seeking to prevent and correct this huge problem is a step that our society will have to take if it is to go to develop as a broadly just one, where access to fair and equal treatment is the norm.
However I don't see this solely as a matter of proving X bullied Y and compensating accordingly. I see the economic wastage caused by workplace bullying: skilled workers lost, time off sick etc - and the opposite side, namely that inept management is supported and continued.
In most cases it's the least pushy and vociferous who suffer the most. I'm sure you aren't suggesting that if you can't stand up for yourself you deserve to be cr@pped on.
And I don't think it is a change that will happen overnight - but, once begun, journey of a thousand steps etc.
Also, developing your point re. organisiations not knowing how to take this seriously - the solution many organisations take is to villify the victim: 'it's time you moved on'...
Ed: and AB poll in the new year might help to illuminate the situation.

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