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Bullying in the workplace is growing according to the latest survey from ACAS with a study finding that many people are too afraid to speak out.
According to ACAS, there has been more than 20,000 calls regarding bullying and harassment in the workplace. The organisation has also called for employers to take claims of bullying in the workplace much more seriously and improve all anti-bullying policies.
Chair of ACAS, Sir Brendan Barber, stated that it wa clear bullying was on the rise and that poor business policies and management was one of the main reasons for the rise. He said: "Callers to our helpline have experienced some horrific incidents around bullying that have included humiliation, ostracism, verbal and physical abuse.
"But managers sometimes dismiss accusations around bullying as simply personality or management style clashes, whilst others may recognise the problem but lack the confidence or skills to deal with it."
Worryingly, the report into ACAS found that there are more groups that are more likely to be affected by workplace bullying than others. The report found that the following groups were more likely to be bullied or discriminated against in the workplace:
According to many, a number of employers and managers did not have the skillset to deal with bullying in the workplace. Rather than investigating and dealing with the issues, the report found that many employers or managers would simply move staff to another area of the office or move them to a different team. While this may make the bullying slightly less frequent, it did not resolve the issue, meaning that there were still unresolved issues that could affect members of staff. The report from ACAS stated that more had to be done to eradicate bullying in the workplace and that managers should be seen as role models.
Other employments agreed that often poor management was to blame and that a zero tolerance policy to bullying should be introduced. Shainaz Firfiray, assistant professor of organisation and human resource management at Warwick Business School, said:"Although bullying takes place at all levels within the workplace, the most common perpetrators are managers.
"This type of bullying often arises due to an unequal balance of power, with managers attempting to control the behaviour of their subordinates through coercive methods."
Although the figures from ACAS found that some groups are more likely to be bullied by others, anyone can be bullied in the workplace. If you have been discriminated against in the workplace, overlooked for a promotion or if you have bullied or discriminated against to the extent that you have been forced from your job or suffered as a result of bullying, our team of expert employment lawyers can help. Contact us today using our online contact form or call our team of experts today on 01382 848 149.