Bullying – You Shouldn’t Run Away From It

“Out of every 100 employees, 8 have reported being bullied at work.”

Bullying is now recognised as a significant issue in the workplace in Ireland.  The most recent research conducted by the ESRI (2007) suggested that out of every 100 employees, 8 have reported being bullied at work.  In addition nearly 11 out of 100 women were at risk of bullying whereas just fewer than 6 out of every 100 men were at risk.

Bulling within an organisation is toxic.  Employees who are being bullied can be subject to fear, stress and anxiety, ill health, loss of confidence and self-esteem, which may put great strains on their personal and family lives.  For the individual against whom a complaint is made, the effects can be similar, especially where he or she believes they have no case to answer.  The organisation itself is also impacted.    Employees working in an environment where bullying occurs do not perform to their potential.  It can result in a dysfunctional workplace with damaged teams, reduced morale, increased absenteeism and less efficiency.  The overall performance of the organisation may be adversely affected and the likelihood of industrial relations problems and possibly litigation increases.

As an employer, not only do you have to meet your legislative obligations under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 in relation to the prevention and resolution of bullying in the workplace, you also have a common law “duty of care” towards your employees.  You have a legal duty to take reasonable care of your employees’ safety from mental, psychological or psychiatric injuries that emanate from workplace stress, bullying, harassment and sexual harassment.

Our team is here to help you prevent and resolve workplace bullying.  For further information on workplace bullying, go to Education and for answers to some common questions on bullying and harassment, click here.