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How to eliminate workplace harassment and bullying

Work harassment is unwelcomed and offensive behaviour directed at an employee. It is usually perpetrated by the employer, co-workers or customers. Harassment is often committed by supervisors who have power over their employees' careers and livelihoods. However, co-workers can also engage in harassment if they have authority over an employee's promotion opportunities. Workplace harassment can occur in any type of workplace—from small businesses to large corporations.

Examples of work harassment include verbal abuse, discriminatory treatment based on one's race, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability status and other protected characteristics, unwanted touching by a supervisor or a co-worker, physical threats or actual violence, and any other conduct that makes an employee feel unsafe at work.

Bullying is repeated aggression over time—often by one person against another—that causes emotional distress in a targeted person. It can include physical violence like hitting or kicking, verbal confrontation like name-calling, manipulation or intimidation, psychological hostility like spreading rumours or gossiping, or even social exclusion of someone from shared activities.

Bullying often happens between equals in power relationships. However, sometimes, it happens between people in vastly different positions of power within an organisation, such as between a supervisor and a subordinate.

Workplace harassment and bullying are common problems that can cause stress, anxiety, and burnout in employees. Businesses need to take steps to prevent workplace bullying since it's both illegal and highly damaging to the morale of employees and the reputation of companies.

Workplace harassment and bullying can take many forms, from sabotage to exclusion to outright assault. It is essential for managers and employees alike to understand that these behaviours are unacceptable and how to deal with them when they occur.

Workplace bullying is an unfortunate reality for many employees, but it doesn't need to be, as the law protects employees from being bullied at work. There are ways to help stop workplace bullying before it starts, and these methods can be implemented by any employee in your company, regardless of their role or level in the organisation.

The first step in addressing workplace harassment is to identify the problem. To do this, ask yourself questions such as:

- Do you feel like you're being treated differently than other employees?

- Are jokes being made about your race/gender/sexual orientation?

- Are there situations at work that make you uncomfortable?

If you're experiencing workplace harassment or bullying, it is imperative to take action.

Here are some tips for preventing workplace harassment and bullying:

1. Make sure your company has a clear anti-bullying policy that everyone understands and follows. This can be difficult if you're new to the industry, so make sure to ask questions until you fully understand the policy.

2. Look for warning signs that someone might act aggressively towards another person at work (or you). This could include name-calling or threatening statements made directly towards another person in front of others (or even behind closed doors).

3. Report this behaviour to a manager or HR representative and find out what happens when someone complains about being bullied, what HR’s actions are, and how long the procedure usually takes. These are all critical questions that your company's Human Resources department should answer before you even start working there. If there's no straightforward process for reporting bullying behaviour, you might want to reconsider accepting this job offer.

4. Contemplate taking legal action if necessary, including filing a lawsuit against your employer for discrimination or wrongful termination if your actions led to your dismissal from the company. Harassment becomes unlawful when it results in firing, demotion, promotion denial, loss of benefits and changes in pay status.

To be protected against workplace harassment, an employee must be able to show that:

  • The offending behaviour was unwelcome.

  • The harassing actions were severe enough to create a stressful work environment.

  • The employee suffered an unfavourable employment action because of their response to the harassment.

Remember that many resources are available for employees who have experienced harassment in the workplace. You can contact an independent organisation like ACAS or the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) for advice on proceeding with your case.

If you need legal assistance with your complaint, there are lawyers who specialise in employment law who can help. You can also speak with a union representative, who may provide guidance on how best to handle your situation.

Employers have a responsibility to protect their employees against workplace bullying. This means they must:

1. Make sure there are clear anti-harassment policies in place.

2. Provide training and education to employees (managers and their subordinates) on what constitutes work harassment and bullying, how to prevent them, and how to address them if they occur.

3. Provide training and education on the employer's policies and procedures regarding bullying at work, including the consequences of engaging in bullying behaviour.

4. Provide resources for employees who wish to report bullying or harassment at work, such as an employee assistance program (EAP).

5. Train managers on how to deal with complaints of harassment or bullying. Have an impartial person thoroughly investigate any complaints that come up and take appropriate action based on the findings of each investigation.

Employers have a legal responsibility to protect their employees from harassment and bullying. If employers fail to do so, they may face legal action from their employees and/or need to pay compensation for any damages caused by their failure to take action.

At Parrotias, we have a clear anti-bullying policy in place which protects our employees and customers. Everyone should feel welcome and safe working for our company, and we are doing everything to ensure that all our employees feel empowered and confident in their work. Bullying is a serious problem that needs to be taken seriously, and we work hard to do everything we can to stop it. We believe firmly in taking action against this kind of behaviour, and our anti-bullying policy is explicitly designed to protect employees from bullying by their colleagues or managers. Bullying can take many forms, and we want to ensure that everyone who works for us is aware of them. We want our employees to feel empowered in their roles, so it’s important to us that they understand what constitutes bullying. We will not tolerate any form of bullying and expect all our employees to treat each other with kindness and respect. We also hope all of our customers will be treated fairly and professionally.


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