We are specialist Bullying at Work solicitors

James Haley explains key aspects of Workplace Bullying
Video: James Haley explains key aspects of Bullying at Work Law.

Research suggests that bullying at work costs UK employers £2 billion a year in sick pay, staff turnover and loss of production. Line managers are often at fault. Bullying has been defined as invasive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour; an abuse or misuse of power intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.

“You really pushed the boat out for me. You really helped me very much. I was in a terrible state. If ever I come accross anyone with a problem, I will mention you.” –  Miss C B, Solicitor, Bagshot

It has objective and subjective elements. These may include:

  • Unwanted physical contact
  • Jokes, offensive language, gossip, slander and libel
  • Posters, obscene gestures
  • Isolation, non-co-operation and exclusion from work or social activities
  • Pressure to participate in political or religious groups
  • Pestering, spying and stalking
  • Failure to safeguard confidential information
  • A culture which is offensive or oppressive to the victim

Workplace Bullying Law for Employers

You probably have a written policy to deal with bullying and harassment. It is important to act promptly and investigate impartially. We can recommend an outside investigator if required.

“This is just a short personal note to accompany a cheque in payment of your recent invoice! Many thanks for your work on our behalf which has been very straightforward and helpful.” – Chief Executive, London-based charity

“Now that the dust has settled I wanted to write to say a huge thank you for your work with .. over the last three months. The result is a good one for the service and your advice, preparation and hard work on our behalf made a major contribution to achieving that. I know I will be echoing similar thanks from…and all the potential witnesses who had put themselves forward so willingly to deal with this very difficult situation. It is much appreciated.” – Chief Officer, Public Sector, Hertfordshire

Workplace Bullying Law for Employees

A bullied employee may have various legal remedies:

  • A claim for unfair constructive dismissal, under the Employment Rights Act 1996.
  • A claim for direct discrimination, harassment and/or victimisation where the bullying is on grounds of a protected characteristic (sex, race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy/maternity,  age or on grounds of having complained of unlawful discrimination.
  • A claim for detriment on grounds of protected disclosure (‘whistleblowing’), where the worker has made a qualifying protected disclosure.
  • A civil claim under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, if there have been at least two incidents of serious harassment.
  • A civil claim for negligence, if the employer’s breach of the duty of care has caused mental or physical injury.
  • A claim for failure to make reasonable adjustments, under the Equality Act 2010, if the complainant is disabled.

Helen Green was awarded £850,000 against Deutsche Bank for negligence, after a long period of sustained harassment: Helen Green v DB Group Services (UK) Ltd 2006 EWHC 1898 QB.

Bullying is serious. If there is a problem, we can help.

“You really pushed the boat out for me. You really helped me very much. I was in a terrible state. If ever I come across anyone with a problem, I will mention you.” – Miss CB, Solicitor, Bagshot

“I actually nearly gave your email a round of applause, I thought it was that genius.” – Ms JM, Dagenham

Just Employment Offices


St Mary’s Chambers,
59 Quarry Street,
Guildford, Surrey

Tel: 01483 303 636


Kemp House,
152 City Road,

Tel: 0203 326 5000


Werks Central
15-17 Middle Street
Brighton, East Sussex

Tel: 01273 020 796

Wokingham, Reading

2 The Courtyard,
Denmark Street,
Wokingham, Berkshire,
RG40 2AZ

Tel: 01189 639 328