Stamping out bullying in the workplace

Just recently we have seen a report which looks into Mark Clarke’s conduct, the Tory who has been accused of bullying and was named in Elliott Johnson’s suicide note – a colleague who had previously made complaints against Clarke.

Bullying in the workplace can be a particular problem for small businesses. Without a dedicated HR team, SME owners can struggle to deal with bullying claims properly and in a small office, bullying can create an intense or unpleasant atmosphere, affecting more than just those directly involved.

The word "bullying" can bring to mind schoolyard name calling but of course it can take many forms and in some workplace cultures, bullying behaviours are never properly identified or dealt with. Failing to address this head-on can create a tense working atmosphere; employers could see themselves facing personal injury claims, if the behaviour has caused psychiatric injury, discrimination if the behaviour can be linked to a protected characteristic. Ignoring the issue could prove costly, time-consuming and, ultimately, destructive for your business.

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