The Protection From Harassment Act 1997
Prior to 1997, workplace bullying and negligence was managed under claims of occupational stress, but the Protection From Harassment Act was created especially for employees to bring specific complaints and grievances against bullying and harassment.
Making A Claim
Any employee suffering this type of unwanted behaviour from a colleague, manager or employer must provide proof and intent of what is considered to be bullying or harassment. They must have been subject to more than one act of misconduct and that the delivery was intentional and meant to cause upset or discomfort. The employee should also be able to show that the employer hadn’t implemented sufficient means of protection to prevent the abuse from happening.
Your employer has the responsibility to provide a suitable working environment in which to perform your job, free from inappropriate behaviour and to protect your human rights. Your health and wellbeing shouldn’t be at risk, so under no circumstances should the behaviour of colleagues cause you undue stress or anxiety at work.
It is imperative that employers in still protocols to generate healthy working conditions, free from insulting behaviour relating to:
- Race or belief
- Unwanted sexual advances
- Homophobic comments
- Teasing about disabilities or physical differences
- Receiving or being subject to offensive materials with inappropriate or sexual content
In situations where workplace harassment has made it no longer appropriate or possible to continue working for an employer, an employee may be entitled to claim for constructive dismissal. These situations often arise when the employee feels they have no other option than to leave their job because of the hostility of their working environment, and that the working relationship between them, their employer or co-workers has been irreparably damaged.
Employment Solicitors Leeds are constructive dismissal specialists.We will guide you through every step to achieve the settlement award you deserve with sensitivity and professionalism.
What To Do If You Are Being Bullied At Work
In many instances, efforts to stand up to bullying in the workplace can aggravate an already difficult situation, leading to further harassment in order for the perpetrator to establish their dominance over the victim.
If an employee doesn’t feel comfortable discussing the matter with their harasser, they should voice their complaint to their line manager or team leader. It would be beneficial to keep written records of dates, actions and locations of events in case of an employment tribunal. The employee should make notes of any available witnesses that could corroborate the events in question. It’s also imperative to record how the behaviour against them made them feel, how it affected their health and wellbeing and their ability to work.
Verbal complaints must be followed by a written complaint to the employer if no satisfactory solution to the problem is established. Employees must follow the ACAS Early Conciliation Process before being able to raise an employment tribunal where legal proceedings will be administered and compensation awarded to the victim.
In order to receive the most appropriate outcome, it is essential to utilise the support of an experienced and qualified solicitor. Employment Solicitors Leeds are specialists in this area and will advise you of the correct action to take at every step to gain the best possible result.
What You Should Do If You’ve Been Accused Of Bullying Or Harassment At Work
If a harassment case is brought against you, a court judge will assess whether your behaviour is considered reasonable toward another person. If the court is convinced of your innocence, then the charges will be dropped.
You must be able to prove that your behaviour wasn’t causing harassment to your colleague, or that you didn’t know, or couldn’t have been expected to know, that your actions would be perceived as offensive. If you can do this successfully, then the case brought against you may be unsuccessful.
Cases of harassment are unique and will be thoroughly examined before deciding on the most suitable course of action. Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your case and its most probable outcome. For the correct legal guidance in your situation,we understand the law from every angle and are here to help, whatever the situation.