Bullying and discrimination in the workplace

Bullying and discrimination in the work place happens far too often. It can happen to anyone at any level, in any organisation and for any reason. I’ve helped employees in cases of bullying and discrimination, from a Chief Officer in a large public organisation to a part-time Office Manager and a factory worker in a small company. 

Bullying can sometimes occur because of personality clashes or as a direct result of discrimination. Discrimination can take many forms, from the obvious to the more discrete. There are nine protected characteristics which can form the basis of discrimination. These are:  

  1. Age 
  2. Disability 
  3. Marriage and civil partnership 
  4. Pregnancy and maternity. 
  5. Race 
  6. Religion or belief. 
  7. Sex 
  8. Sexual orientation.  
  9. Gender reassignment 

In addition part-time employees can be subject to a detriment on the basis of their working hours.  

Disability (as defined in the Equality Act 2010) is far wider than the general everyday use of this term, and includes anything from depression to diabetes or cancer, depending on the effect the condition has.  

If you are in a higher management position you may find that mental health concerns can be unfairly viewed as weaknesses. This was the case in a recent claim that I worked on. The employer took the view that the employee was no longer capable of his role after returning to work following his period of absence. That individual was subjected to significant bullying following time off for depression 

It is important that you as an employee know your options when dealing with bullying in the workplace. We can aid you in preparing any grievance, where necessary, and support you throughout the process. If you are dismissed or you feel there is no other option but to resign, we can advise you on the appropriate claims and represent you all the way. 

If you are not sure if you are a victim of bullying or discrimination, or you know that you are, or you have been, please give me a call for a free chat. I’m here to help. 01702 238529.

About the Author

Kristie qualified as a solicitor in 2014. She is a member of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department at BTMK. Kristie undertakes both contentious and non-contentious employment work. She advises both employers and employees. Her specialities include: Employment Tribunal Claims (including discrimination, unfair dismissal and TUPE), Contracts of Employment, Employee Handbooks, Directors Service Agreements, Human Resources, Business Transfers & TUPE, Settlement Agreements, Disciplinary & Grievance processes, Business Reorganisations & Redundancy.

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