The Employment Equality Acts 1998-2008 place an obligation on all employers in Ireland to prevent harassment in the workplace. Harassment including sexual harassment that is based on any of the following 9 grounds – gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the Traveller community – is a form of discrimination in relation to conditions of employment. Bullying which is linked to one of the discriminatory grounds above comes under the Employment Equality Acts. Read more about harassment and sexual harassment.
The Code of Practice on Sexual Harassment and Harassment at Work aims to give practical guidance to employers, and employees on how to prevent sexual harassment and harassment at work and how to put procedures in place to deal with it.
Health and Safety at Work
Bullying in the workplace can affect both the safety and the health of employees. Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 employers have a duty to ensure the health and safety of their employees in the workplace. Under section 8 of the Act your employer is required to “prevent any improper conduct or behaviour likely to put the safety, health and welfare of employees at risk”. Your duty as an employee is not to engage in improper behaviour which would endanger the health, safety and welfare of yourself or the other employees.
The Health and Safety Authority works to ensure that workplace bullying is not tolerated and that employers have procedures for dealing with bullying at work. It provides information and advice on bullying and is responsible for the Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work. This Code sets out guidance notes for employees, employers and trade unions on dealing with bullying in the workplace.
Your employer must take reasonable steps to prevent bullying in the workplace. There should be an anti-bullying policy and established procedures for dealing with complaints of bullying in the workplace. Your employer should deal with such complaints immediately. The Labour Relations Commission has published a Code of Practice detailing Procedures for Addressing Bullying in the Workplace.
See the various Codes of Practice.