Abuse in the workplace can be an awful experience for anyone involved. Bullying and/or harassment in the workplace is something that no-one should have to experience. According to ACAS workplace abuse can include:
• Intentionally undermining a proficient worker by constant criticism
• Exclusion or victimisation
• Overbearing supervision or other misuse of power
• Preventing individuals progressing by intentionally blocking promotion or training opportunities
• Ridiculing someone
• Spreading malicious rumours, or insulting someone by word or behavior (particularly on the grounds of age, race, sex, disability, sexual orientation or religious beliefs)
• Unfair treatment
• Unwelcome sexual advances – touching, standing too close, the display of offensive materials or asking for sexual favours
Written communications, emails and telephone conversations can also constitute workplace abuse, not just person to person.
It is the responsibility of your employer to prevent workplace abuse. Although if you are experiencing abuse in the workplace and nothing is being done to prevent it you should seek expert advice from specialist employment lawyers.
When it comes to bullying, the equality act does not define it as a “protected characteristic”and therefore you can’t make a direct claim to the Employment Tribunal based on any bullying you have suffered.
It is important to try and resolve any workplace abuse prior to leaving, because if you wish to make a claim following your resignation, the court would expect to see proof you were seeking help. Keeping records of any abuse at work will help your claim. Ensure that you consider all avenues prior to resigning. However if you have resigned and it’s down to the bullying or harassment you suffered at work, you may be able to make a constructive dismissal claim to the employment tribunal. Dependent on the abuse you suffered, you may also be able to make a claim for discrimination.
If you are experiencing abuse in the work placeand you are thinking of making a bullying and harassment claim, ensure you seek expert legal advice before making any rash decisions. Our specialist employment tribunal lawyers can help with advice and information. Get in touch with us today on firstname.lastname@example.org