Bullying And Harassment Solicitors Leeds

Not only is being bullied or harassed at worka deeply distressing situation for any one person to be subjected to—whether by a colleague, manager, employer or associated operative of the business—it’s also against the law.

There are emotional and social repercussions when suffering from bullying in the workplace. If an employee is being harassed by their employer, manager or team leader, finding resolution can prove to be incredibly challenging and unimaginably stressful.

In situations like these, it makes sense to hire a specialist bullying and harassment solicitor to guide you through the process of making a complaint, protecting your rights and raising an employment tribunal wherever required. A tribunal may be the only way to resolve a genuinely difficult situation; reaching the best possible outcome and winning the compensation award you truly deserve.

Acts Of Bullying

Bullying can occur in many forms; all of which are punishable by law. We can help you protect your rights as an employee and a human.

Typical examples of bullying can include:

  • Verbal or physical abuse
  • Being humiliated in front of clients, customers or colleagues
  • Being blamed for situations that aren’t your fault
  • Having roles of responsibility taken from you without just cause
  • Being overlooked for promotions or training opportunities
  • Excessive unfair criticism
  • Receiving unfounded threats of job security or dismissal
  • Being regularly overworked
  • Unnecessary teasing
  • Practical jokes
  • Being denied holiday leave
  • The imposition of unrealistic expectations
  • Being excluded from work-related activities, meetings, social gatherings and group emails

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Legal Protection From Bullying And Harassment

Bullying and harassment at work are covered by two acts set out by law.

The Equality Act 2010

This act doesn’t directly protect employees from bullying, but it does protect them against a number of harassment applications.

The Protection From Harassment Act 1997

This act was introduced to give legal protection to employees by introducing laws stating that certain areas of bullying were to be classed as harassment.

Harassment is classed as unwanted behaviour that causes alarm or distress.

These behaviours can include:

  • Unfair treatment
  • Regular undermining despite being good at your job
  • Being denied equal opportunities to those of your colleagues
  • Spreading malicious rumours

Bullying and harassment can take many different forms. They can be verbal, physical, written or digital. It doesn’t matter what form they take, they are all liable for prosecution—whether being made face-to-face, over the telephone, by texting, in an email or on social media.

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act was instigated to protect employees by outlining the various areas of discrimination throughout the workplace that were liable for prosecution.

Defined as ‘any unwanted conduct delivered with the purpose of effecting or violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment’, this act was designed to offer employees legal protection from abuse through discrimination at work.

Sexual harassment is governed under both the Equality Act 2010 and the Employment Equality (Sex Discrimination) Regulations 2004.

The Equality Act 2010 covers many specific areas of harassment governed by discrimination and includes:

Employees suffering any of the above discriminatory behaviours are entitled to apply for prosecution and compensation against their employer and harasser.

It also allowed employees who were offended or affected by the harassment but weren’t directly subjected to the abuse, to make a claim against the perpetrator and their employer. This is known as associated harassment.

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.

Employer’s Responsibilities

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:

  • Sexuality
  • Gender
  • 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

Constructive Dismissal

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.

Contact Employment Solicitors Leeds Now

You can call on 0113 4334 118 or fill up enquire form for an initial consultation regarding your employment position. We will offer you complete and full advice in easy to understand terms to help you to establish the most likely outcomes for your case in a relaxed and pressure-free environment.

We understand how difficult this time can be, so our expertly trained staff deliver all of our services with empathy and understanding. It is entirely up to you whether you decide to pursue your claim or not. We’re here to help you make those critical decisions backed by years of experience and industry knowledge.

Our Team

Craig McCracken

Craig McCracken

Craig McCracken is a Director in our employment team who also specialises in employment law with over 14 years’ experience in dealing with both contentious and non-contentious matters.In the most recent Legal 500 clients described Louise as being “accessible and down to earth” providing “clear and concise advice…in an exceptionally personable way”. Craig was described as “very knowledgeable and approachable” giving “sound advice”.

Louise Carr

Louise Carr

Our team is headed up by Louise Carr who had specialised in employment law for more than 15 years. She regularly appears in the employment tribunal and has been particularly involved in dealing with complex multi-day discrimination claims.

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