Employees are more likely to be bullied by their colleagues than their bosses, a new report has revealed.
Rather than unscrupulous bosses putting workers under pressure, a survey of over 3,000 employed people revealed that the majority of workers who had experienced bullying in the workplace had been victimised by a workmate.
One in four bullied workers had suffered misery in the workplace at the hands of a manipulative colleague with the majority of offensive taunts focusing on looks, ability to do the job and clothing. Gender, personal interests and age also ranked among the highest topics to insult and undermine colleagues.
Manipulative and inappropriate behaviour from colleagues has led one in five to quit their jobs, a considerable staff retention problem for employers. A further 23% of employed people have raised complaints of bullying in the workplace but two out of three cases issues were still left unresolved or failed to affect the bullying campaigns at all.
The study reveals that in the last year 48% of workers have wanted to quit their current job but fear they would not be able to find another job due to recession.
Head of employment law for LawOptions.co.uk, Will Burrows said: Employers need to be aware that they are not only responsible for establishing fair and legal practices with employees themselves but once a bullying campaign in the workplace has been brought to their attention they also need to be seen to be acting to eradicate the problem.
Although an employee cannot make a claim to an employment tribunal purely for being bullied, if the situation is intolerable and the employer fails to act appropriately, the employee may have a claim for constructive dismissal.
If the nature of the bullying campaign is based upon race, sex, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation or religion, the employee can claim for discrimination.
Comments in the workplace, even if veiled in humour, can be severely undermining to the recipient and are on the increase following a growing appetite of put downs and insults on TV from Celebrity Big Brother and The Apprentice to Hells Kitchen.
Despite such numbers of bullying in the workplace, three quarters of workers do not feel adequately prepared to take official action and 2 in 5 feel presume that legal advice will be too costly.
Notes to Editors
LawOptions.co.uk is the first law firm to offer consumers a complete solution for all legal needs on Family, Employment, Road Traffic Accidents, Conveyancing, Personal Injury, Wills and Probate, General Disputes and Speeding Offences, 24-hours a day.
The company is backed by Canter Levin and Berg, one of the oldest law firms in the North West of England. Canter Levin and Berg has been providing legal services since 1947 and is Lexcel accredited, approved by the Law Society and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority [SRA Number 44668].
A survey of 3,000 people was carried out by OnePoll.com.
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