Two in five people experience bullying and harassment at work. Worryingly of those who experienced it, 62.5% chose not to report it.*
On the 25th of October 2023, law firm Wright Hassall is launching End Workplace Bullying, a campaign calling for HR teams and workplaces to become allies and advocate against workplace bullying and harassment.
With October being one of the busiest times for workplace hiring, Wright Hassall is encouraging employers to bring bullying and harassment to the surface and do more to support employees experiencing a toxic work environment.
As part of the campaign, Wright Hassall conducted a nationally representative survey of 2,135 people and found:
Bullying and harassment survey findings:
– Almost one in two people believe that their workplace tolerates discriminatory banter at least some of the time (45%)
– One in 12 people admit that their workplace “often tolerates discriminatory banter” such as stereotypes, slurs or commentary relating to race, gender, sex, sexual orientation, age, image-based commentary, and inappropriate ‘jokes.’
– One-third more women experience bullying and/or harassment from a coworker or supervisor than men.
– 33% of people wouldn’t recommend a job at their organisation
The law firm also found that the most common reason for not reporting this type of behaviour it is that the person believed nothing would be done. This was closely followed by a “lack of confidence in the reporting process” and “a fear of retaliation.”
Tina Chander, Head of Employment Law at Wright Hassall, says:
HR teams across the UK must make their workplaces safer. Otherwise, they risk high levels of sickness absence, a stressed and anxious workforce, losing talent, gaining a bad reputation and even, in some cases, an employment tribunal, which can be costly in more than one way.
Training is part of the solution. But organisations need to do more to cultivate a culture and have set processes that are widely understood if someone is experiencing bullying and/or harassment.
Tina Chander, Head of Employment Law at Wright Hassall
To get involved, Wright Hassall is simply asking workplaces to join the conversation and make space to look at ways they can educate and encourage employees about bullying and harassment in the workplace and increase support for those who experience it.
It’s not about shaming workplaces. It’s about shining the light on toxic behaviour and understanding that more can always be done to cultivate a better, safer workplace for all.
Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.