Leigh Town Council Faces Bullying Issues – How Can We Reduce Workplace Bullying?

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Photo Credits - Kate Sade via Unsplash

Workplace bullying is a serious problem that can have a devastating impact on both employees and employers. In October 2023, Unison, a public sector union, expressed “deep concern” about allegations of bullying and victimisation by councillors at Leigh Town Council. The union said that every employee at the council had raised official complaints about their treatment.

READ: Goldman Sachs Faces £1m Lawsuit After Reports of Workplace Bullying Surfaces

What is Workplace Bullying?

Workplace bullying is the repeated mistreatment of an employee by one or more employees, including the use of verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, humiliation, and isolation. It can happen in any workplace setting, including traditional offices, virtual workplaces, and remote work arrangements.

This can have a devastating impact on employees, both physically and emotionally. It can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, and physical illness. It can also damage employees’ self-esteem and confidence.

Workplace bullying can lead to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and high turnover rates for employers. It can also damage the company’s reputation and make it difficult to attract and retain top talent.

Workplace bullying can also occur in virtual settings, such as online meetings, email, and social media. Virtual workplace bullying can take many forms, including:

  • Sending abusive or threatening emails or messages
  • Excluding employees from virtual meetings or social media groups
  • Spreading rumours or gossip about employees online
  • Micromanaging or constantly criticising employees’ work online
  • Monitoring employees’ online activity

The Issue at the Leigh Town Council

In October 2023, Unison, the public sector union, issued a statement expressing “deep concern” about allegations of bullying and victimisation by councillors at Leigh Town Council. The statement said that every employee at the council had raised official grievances about their treatment.

The union’s statement also said that councillors had been “aggressive” and “tried to barge into offices and order staff about.” It added that staff felt councillors were coming into the office “with the intention of tearing up the rules and victimising employees.”

The Leigh Town Council has denied the allegations of bullying and victimisation. However, the council has said that it is “aware of some concerns that have been raised by staff” and that it is “taking steps to address these concerns.”

The Effects of Workplace Bullying on the Workforce

Workplace bullying can have a devastating impact on employees, both physically and emotionally. It can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, and physical illness. Workplace bullying can also damage employees’ self-esteem and confidence.

Workplace bullying can lead to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and high turnover rates for employers. It can also damage the company’s reputation and make it difficult to attract and retain top talent.

Workplace bullying can harm the entire workforce. It can create a hostile and toxic work environment, which can lead to decreased morale, productivity, and creativity. Workplace bullying can also damage relationships between employees and make it difficult for teams to function effectively.

Legislation in the UK

There are a few laws that can be used to protect employees from bullying, including:

  • The Employment Rights Act 1996 protects employees from unfair dismissal, including dismissal for reasons of health and safety.
  • The Equality Act 2010 protects employees from discrimination based on protected characteristics, including age, disability, gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation.
  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires employers to provide a safe and healthy work environment for their employees. This includes protection from bullying and harassment.

For more legal information, head to the Redmans Solicitors guide on workplace bullying.

Workplace bullying guide by Redmans Solicitors

How Can We Reduce Workplace Bullying?

There are several things that employers and employees can do to reduce workplace bullying.

Employers can:

  • Create a clear and concise anti-bullying policy.
  • Train employees on the anti-bullying policy and how to identify and report bullying.
  • Investigate all allegations of bullying promptly and thoroughly.
  • Take appropriate disciplinary action against employees who are found to have bullied others.

Employees can:

  • Report any instances of bullying to their manager or another trusted person.
  • Keep a record of any bullying incidents, including the date, time, and what happened.
  • Support other colleagues who are being bullied.
  • Seek professional help if they are being bullied.

READ: Asthmatic Employee Who Was Unfavourably Treated Wins £1.1m

Additional Tips for Reducing Workplace Bullying

  • Create a culture of respect and inclusion. This means fostering an environment where everyone feels valued and respected, regardless of their role, background, or beliefs.
  • Promote open communication and feedback. Employees should feel comfortable expressing their concerns and providing feedback to their managers and colleagues.
  • Encourage employees to support each other. This can involve things like creating buddy systems, peer mentorship programs, and employee resource groups.
  • Provide training on workplace bullying. This training should help employees identify and report bullying, as well as how to intervene if they see someone being bullied.
  • Take workplace bullying seriously. When employees report bullying, employers should investigate the allegations promptly and thoroughly. If bullying is found to have occurred, the employer should take appropriate disciplinary action against the

If you require advice or guidance on workplace bullying head to the Redmans website. To get in touch with our team of expert employment lawyers, click here

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