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Determining If You’re Being Bullied At Work

14:20, 6/3/2020

Home » News & Knowledge » Determining If You’re Being Bullied At Work

With various happenings surfacing in the news at the time of writing, we thought it might be useful to write a piece on determining if the treatment you are receiving in the workplace could be classed as being bullied at work.

According to the Equality Act 2010, harassment and bullying are defined as “behaviour that makes someone feel intimidated or offended.”  Basically, treatment where an individual or group of people act in an undesirable way towards you which results in a feeling of discomfort.

This would include things like intimidation, degradation, humiliation, insults and offence. For example, you are being excluded from an email chain when it transpires that a group of people was talking behind your back or purposefully excluding you with intention of causing ill-feeling, being talked down to in front of others, or being treated differently to the rest of your peers. These are just a few examples.

Bullied at Work


It may be an isolated incident that made you feel bullied or harassed, or it could be a targeted campaign of similar incidents where you feel you are being victimised over a length of time. People’s perceptions and tolerances are wildly different, so it would be a case where the individual feels victimised.

How does Harassment differ from Bullying?

Harassment is when an attack is made upon you which focuses on an individual’s protected characteristics. Protected characteristics include:

  • Age
  • Beliefs
  • Disability
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex and Sexual Orientation

What can be done if I feel I am being bullied at work?

To start with, the Government advises that you try and sort out the problem in an informal manner. If this isn’t possible, it is recommended that it be taken to the direct superior(s) of the person or people causing the trouble – whether that be a manager, area manager, union representative, or Human Resources team.

If this fails, then next phase would be to make a formal grievance by adhering to your company’s grievance procedure, which should be listed in your staff or company handbook. If this stage fails or the problem isn’t resolved to a satisfactory standard, legal action via Employment Tribunal would be the next step.

Make sure to log evidence and timescales of bullying and harassment as it happens, and make sure to visit a GP if you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed by the situation. Likewise, if you feel that a colleague is being targeted unfairly, you can also report a problem to seniors whether it concerns you directly or not.

Further Reading

ACAS – Free employment advice resource.

Citizens’ Advice Bureau – Free advice and support for any member of the public.

Oakwood Solicitors Ltd



For any advice about bullying or harassment in the workplace, more information can be found on our website. A Grievance Procedure letter template can be downloaded further down this page.

To book a free initial consultation, get in touch today by choosing one of the methods on the right-hand side of this page, or call us on 0113 200 9787 to find out how we can help you.

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