Workplace bullying constitutes a significant threat to the health, safety and welfare of people in the workplace and potentially has wider implications for employers, including reduced profitability, low morale, and increased absenteeism and staff turnover.
Employers need to be aware that workplace bullying may not always be committed by an employee. It maybe perpetrated by a client, customer, person in position of authority, or other business contact and can also be carried out by an individual or a group. Employers may ultimately remain responsible for the consequences of such behaviours even if committed by people other than employees as a result of the employer’s duty of care at common law and under the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986.
Despite the potential legal ramifications and penalties that may be imposed, many employers are largely unaware of their legal responsibilities in relation to workplace bullying. Whilst this practical website has been developed to assist all workplaces, it is of particular value to small business, to identify, assess, minimise, control and review the risks to health, safety and welfare caused by workplace bullying. It aims to provide practical advice and information on making workplaces fair and safer for everyone concerned.
Although it is recognised a client or customer may commit bullying behaviour, this site currently only addresses the management of bullying behaviour committed within the workplace. Employers also have the responsibility to minimise risks to their staff from bullying behaviours that may arise from clients or customers.
It is strongly recommended that professional advice be sought in relation to workplace bullying issues. The content of this website is for general information only and is not intended to be used in substitution of professional advice.