Undetected or unresolved bullying at work can have a detrimental impact on employee morale and performance, absence levels, and staff turnover, and if employers fail to manage allegations appropriately, they could face claims for constructive dismissal, breach of contract, or negligence claims (which could include damages for psychiatric injury). If the bullying relates to a protected characteristic, such as sex or age, employers may also face a discrimination claim.
Encouraging employees to raise matters informally in the first instance can be an effective way of managing bullying allegations, allowing both employees involved to engage in open conversations, unrestrained by the bureaucracies of a formal procedure. Of course, sometimes a more formal route will be appropriate, but where this is the case, employers still need to take steps to keep the employees involved informed throughout the investigation and any subsequent disciplinary procedures
To read the full article, please go to the CIPD website here.