One fifth of UK workers have been bullied over the last 2 years according to a report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Public sector workers are more likely to experience bullying than their private sector counterparts, 22% compared with 17%.The groups most likely to become victims of bullying and harassment are black and Asian employees, women and disabled individuals. Nearly one third of Asian employees, or those from other ethnic groups, report having experienced some form of bullying or harassment. This compares with 18% of white employees. Employees with disabilities are at least twice as likely to report having experienced one or more forms of bullying and harassment, 37%, compared with non-disabled employees, 18%.
Bullying can take many forms, including ridiculing personal characteristics, making unfair criticisms and ignoring people, as well as physical or verbal harassment. Employers need to be alert to the damage a bullying culture can cause. Line managers need to be able to recognise signs of bullying or harassment and take action to deal with the situation before it gets out of hand. Employees who are being bullied or harassed need to know how to complain, and feel reassured that they won’t be victimised if they do.
The report is available at: http://www.cipd.co.uk/subjects/dvsequl/harassmt/bullyatwork0405.htm