Recent surveys have shown that employees are becoming the victim of aggressive behavior from their bosses and coworkers. As technology advances rapidly, the boss’s expectations from their employees’ increases. Employees become the victim of abuse even after completing long hours and receiving meager pay.
Mark Smith*, a dentist by profession, was compelled to work 15-hour shifts and received a salary of less than £22,000. “What started as harmless banter and crude jokes later began to become much more offensive and abusive,” says Mark Smith.
“Sometimes I had so much pressure on me going into the surgery room that my performance would suffer,” exclaims Mark Smith. I had to deal with client complaints because of the impaired performance due to all of that pressure. So I had the pressure of my boss with the added pressure of unsatisfied clients.
*Names have been changed to protect their identities.
What Qualifies as Bullying or Harassment At Work?
Although there is no formal definition of bullying. The Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) interprets bullying as malicious or insulting behavior that has the power to offend or intimidate a person. Health and Safety Executives stress that this is a repetitive form of behavior and not just an isolated incident that occurs just once.
Bullying may not be defined formally, but the Equality Act 2010 clearly outlines what is meant by “harassment”. It is important to remember that anyone anywhere could be a victim of harassment. If you are witnessing someone harassing another individual you can always ask the person to stop. Your rights are protected if the person is still not deterred by your action.
Harassment can create a negative atmosphere for all of the people involved. The harassment could force individuals to take sides in a dispute they do not want to get involved in.
What To Do If You Are Being Bullied or Harassed?
Try to resolve the situation informally, before making things difficult for your intimidator. One way to do this is to talk about your case with an HR representative or line manager. Other colleagues might be facing the same kind of behavior. Try to speak to your colleagues keeping it confidential between the two of you.
Once you are certain that you cannot solve the issue informally consider lodging a formal grievance. The grievance should prompt your employer to launch a formal investigation. Your employer might consider holding a meeting and explaining the grievance policy. The line manager will become involved to make sure that the grievance policy is clearly explained to all employees.
If all of the above steps do not take place it is easier to contact a law firm such as KingsGuard Legal. Keep a diary of events if you are being bullied regularly. Visit your GP to find out the effects the bullying has had on your mental and physical health. Write down how your physical and mental health have been affected over time.
The diary will come in handy to prove that the bullying was not just an isolated incident. It will also help you remember if anyone else was involved in any of the incidents.