Harassment and bullying remain significant workplace issues despite increasing awareness of the problem. There are many typical harassment and bullying behaviours which can manifest in the workplace, from unwanted physical contact and unwelcome remarks to shouting and persistent unwarranted criticism. Our research shows that employees who are the recipients of these behaviours are more likely to be depressed and anxious, less satisfied with their work, have a low opinion of their managers, and want to leave the organisation.

This factsheet examines the legal positions on harassment and bullying in the workplace, and outlines employers' and employees' responsibilities in addressing the problem. For employers, this includes putting in place a policy which articulates the organisation’s commitment to promoting dignity and respect at work; for employees, it means supporting the organisation's policies and behaving in ways which encourage a non-hostile working environment. Finally, this factsheet provides HR practitioners with introductory advice on dealing promptly with complaints.

CIPD viewpoint

What is harassment and bullying?

The legal position

Responsibilities of employers and employees

Dealing with complaints

References

Useful contacts and further reading

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