Bullying & harassment: Your rights
Bullying and harassment is behaviour that makes someone feel intimidated or offended. Bullying itself is not against the law, but harassment is. In this guidance, we'll help you understand what you can do if you're being bullied or harassed.
Don’t suffer in silence. We’ll listen carefully to your individual circumstances, explain any internal policies, procedures or guidance that you need to be aware of and get you copies if you can’t access the information yourself. Then we’ll advise you on how best we think you should take your concerns forward. We'll look after you from the minute you get in touch, including representing you at any formal meetings and getting legal advice and support should it be necessary.
What is bullying?
Bullying is behaviour from a person or group that’s unwanted and makes you feel uncomfortable, including feeling:
- Frightened (‘intimidated’)
- Less respected or put down (‘degraded’)
- You’re made fun of and it makes you feel uncomfortable (‘humiliated’)
- Upset (insulted or ‘offended)
- Be a regular pattern of behaviour or a one-off incident
- Happen face-to-face, on social media, in emails or phone calls
- Happen in the workplace or at work social events
- Not always be obvious or noticed by others
What is harassment?
Bullying, harassment, and discrimination are investigated through the issue resolution policy (also known as grievance & harassment policy). But what exactly is harassment?
Harassment is any unwanted conduct that could be physical, verbal, or non-verbal conduct or bullying, where the conduct has the purpose or effect of violating someone's dignity or creating an environment that is intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive. Sexual harassment can often involve inappropriate touching, lewd comments, sexual gestures or non-verbal conduct including inappropriate communications.
Where harassment is because of a protected characteristic under the Equality Act (2010), it's called 'harassment related to a protected characteristic', and it may be intentional or unintentional.
Find out more or get support
We've created an interactive guide, which will provide you with guidance on:
- the grievance & harassment resolution policy
- an introduction to equality law - what it is and what it means for you
- understanding what discrimination and harassment are
- the informal and formal options that are available to you to resolve work-related issues
- the help you can get from the union on tackling workplace issues, including how to write a complaint letter when things can't be resolved
- additional support and services which may help you