#abw18 – What do you do if you’re bullied in the workplace?

12 November 2018

Anti-bullying Awareness Week 12th – 16th November 2018

Recent figures show that bullying and harassment in the NHS could be costing more than £2 billion per year in England alone, according to data from NHS Digital that looked at the impact of bullying on sickness absence, employee turnover, productivity, sickness presenteeism, and employment relations. When NHS staff continue to come to work while being bullied, they are more prone to making mistakes and presenteeism due to bullying was estimated to cost £604.4 million – double the cost of sickness absence because of bullying. In the most recent NHS England staff survey, almost a quarter of staff reported being bullied or harassed by colleagues.

Bullying in the workplace is devastating and distressing. It leaves victims feeling very low and anxious about having to go to work and face the individual or group who are subjecting them to unacceptable behaviour. The impact on an employee’s health and wellbeing should not be taken lightly with the knock-on effects on family life, increased sickness absence, stress, further costs for the business due to employees taking long periods of absence and upset which in turn impacts on workforce effectiveness.

Workplace bullying can take many shapes or forms.  Some of the signs of bullying can be:

  • Being constantly criticised, having duties and responsibility taken away without good reason
  • Shouting, aggressive behaviour or threats
  • Being put down or made to feel like the butt of workplace jokes
  • Being persistently picked on in front of others or in private
  • Being constantly ignored, victimised and excluded regularly
  • Constantly mocking and attacking members of staff
  • Spreading malicious rumours about members of staff
  • Misuse of power or position to make someone feel uncomfortable or victimised
  • Making threats about job security without any basis or substance
  • Blocking promotion or progress within the workplace

If you are feeling bullied, confide in a manager or the Human Resources department in your workplace.  Does your organisation have a whistle blowing policy? Does your organisation have anti-bullying champions? If you’re not sure – ask!  This might not be so easy to do if it is a small organisation or you are being harassed or bullied by your manager.

It is really important that victims of bullying keep a diary of all incidents with times, dates, witnesses and what happened so that they can report the incidents to management. This will especially help if they decide to take further action.

If you are a member of a trade union, you could get in touch with them and ask them for advice and representation. If you have house insurance, then you may be covered for legal expenses too.

Liaison Group is taking part in #goblue #wearblueday – Wear Blue Day 2018.  On 9 November 2018, our staff will be wearing blue and sharing this blog to help #stopbullying.

More information can be found online here: https://www.bullying.co.uk/anti-bullying-week/anti-bullying-week-2018/

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