Your employer has various responsibilities which include ensuring you are not bullied or harassed at work, providing the correct equipment to enable you to carry out your tasks safely and maintaining various procedures and policies in your workplace. If you are the victim of an accident or contract a disease while at work which is caused by the conditions you are working in, such as chemicals or regular loud noise, you may be able to make a claim for compensation from your employer to cover any loss of earnings and distress caused to you. If you have to take time off or are making a clam against your employer they are not allowed, by law, to harass you. Contact us at Accident Advice Helpline if you feel under pressure from your employer or want advice about a potential claim on 0800 689 0500.
Bullying is not illegal, but harassment is. Harassment is bullying or unwanted behaviour that is related to race, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity issues. If you are being bullied or receiving unwanted comments in any of these areas your employer is legally obliged to protect you. If you have any doubt whether you are being harassed then contact a specialist law firm who will be able to advise you. Harassment may be experienced in person, over the telephone, or via e-mail. If you believe you are being harassed there are a number of things you can do.
- Talk to the person responsible for harassing you and explain that you find their behaviour offensive and unwelcome. They may not realise that they are causing you distress or making you feel uncomfortable, and once you have explained they may simply apologise and stop.
- If talking to the person concerned does not have the desired effect, check your employer’s policy on bullying, if they have one, and ascertain what your next step should be.
- Speak to your Human Resources department or your manager on an informal basis and see if they can help or advise you. If you are part of a union your representative will also be able to offer help and advice.
- If you have still been unable to resolve the problem you may have no choice but to launch a formal grievance. Your company should have a formal procedure to deal with this and you should follow this procedure.
If you do reach the point of commencing formal proceedings, your company will have guidelines on how they deal with the issue. It is likely that the first step will be to investigate your claims. At this point you should provide details of witnesses who are able to back up your story and if you have kept a diary of the harassment, give a copy to your employer. Try to remain unemotional and state the facts clearly. If necessary seek assistance from a colleague or union representative.
If your manager is bullying you, you will need to bring the claim to the HR department or to a different manager. By law, your employer is not allowed to harass you because of a claim you have made. Remember, any compensation will be paid by your employer’s insurance company so you do not need to feel guilty about claiming compensation that is due to you.