If you thought bullying just happens in the schoolyard you would be very wrong, and frighteningly, is quite common within the workplace. Bullying can have a devastating effect on the victim, it almost always leads to absence from work, and it is not unusual for the victim of bullying to ultimately tender their resignation. It is difficult too for HR or management to deal with complaints of bullying because it can invariably come down to the word of the victim against that of the bully.

While we acknowledge that there are difficulties for both HR and management, taking no action is not an option. Employees should be encouraged to bring a complaint under the Dignity at Work policy. Every employer should have an Employee Assistance Programme to assist victims of bullying or any employee who are suffering stress in the workplace. An Employee Assistance Programme usually consists of 6 free counselling sessions for the employee, and EAP providers can be retained who will only charge the employer if the employee avails of the counselling sessions. In other words, there is no charge to the employer if there is an EAP in place and the employees do not avail of it. There is clear law to the effect that if an employer has an EAP in place then they are unlikely to be successfully sued should an employee subsequently complain of a bullying related injury or injury from excessive stress at work.

If we have raised any issues that you think we may be able to assist you with, then do not hesitate to get in contact with us.