What to do about Workplace Bullying

All employers have a responsibility, as far as is reasonably practical, to provide a workplace where accident, disease and impairment of physical and mental health are prevented. The (2005) Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act states that the employer’s duty includes in particular the provision of systems of work that are planned, organised, performed and maintained so as to be, as far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risk to health.

Where a bullying culture has been identified, employers must take reasonable measures to prevent incidents of bullying occurring and also when and if they do occur, prevent the risk of injury to the health of employees worsening by providing and implementing transparent and just anti-bullying policies and procedures. Employees have a responsibility to ensure that they are not contributing to a bullying culture and it is the duty of every employee to take reasonable care for his own safety, health and welfare and that of any other person who may be affected by his acts or omissions while at work.

Managers and supervisors have a particular responsibility to promote dignity in the workplace for all. They should be alert to the possibility of bullying behaviour and be familiar with the policies and procedures for dealing with allegations of bullying, as bullying has been identified as a workplace hazard.

As an employer, you should ensure that you have up-to-date policy documents relating to bullying and also familarise yourself with the Prevention of Bullying: Codes of Practice aimed at the prevention of bullying.