Bullying at Work Solicitors - Employment Compensation Claims

This problem is one that has shown a significant rise in local reporting over recent years which is probably due to a number of significant, high profile cases that work bullying solicitors have taken to the Employment Tribunal which has brought it into the open together with associated publicity showing that it is possible for victims to claim substantial compensation for workplace bullying. There is no national statutory definition of workplace bullying and there is no specific national legislation however there are four essential components that a work bullying solicitor must demonstrate to succeed in legal action before the Employment Tribunal as follows :-

  • arising from a conflict at work
  • repeated unwanted behaviour
  • inappropriate and often aggressive
  • physical or psychological distress


If you are being singled out for unfair treatment whilst at your place of employment in by your boss, a manager or a colleague you do not have to suffer in silence. This type of behaviour whilst common-place is unlawful and a work bullying solicitor can take legal action in the Employment Tribunal.

  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 imposes a legal duty on employers to look after the health, safety and welfare of their employees so far as is reasonably possible. If they do not do this and tolerate workplace bullying, they are breaching an individual’s contract of employment.
  • The Race Relations Act 1976 and the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 may in certain circumstances be used against an abuser where there is race discrimination which is defined as any unfair treatment aimed at a person because of race, colour, nationality, citizenship or ethnic origin. The abuse may be either direct or indirect which occurs when a universal requirement puts people of a particular race at a disadvantage.
  • The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 prohibits discrimination on the basis of a person’s gender or marital status and under the Employment Equality Regulations 2003 it is illegal for employers to discriminate due to sexual orientation.
  • Racial harassment is unlawful and describes racially motivated aggression. The Race Relations Act 1976 refers to hostile or offensive behaviour which is at least partially motivated by racial factors.
  • Sexual harassment is unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature whilst in the course of employment and is covered by the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Unlawful Behaviour

If you think that you're being picked on by colleagues, your supervisor or your boss at work, then you're probably being bullied by them. Although it's a common event, bullying at work is totally unlawful. Bullying can take many forms however it may include some incidents below which is not by any means a comprehensive list of this type of behaviour :-

  • Raised voices aimed at co-workers and other staff members for the purpose of embarrassing them or undermining their morale.
  • Finding fault in the work done by qualified and efficient employees even if there is really no fault at all.
  • Shaming or embarrassing experienced members of staff by giving them work that is below their level of expertise or position.
  • Knowingly not giving the right compensation and promotion to a deserving employee.
  • Making unnecessary and unreasonable complaints or insults about a co-worker in public.
  • Assigning too much work or giving impractical deadlines to an employee in order to unreasonably attempt to show that they are incompetent in their job.
  • Making some work activities exclusive to a few individuals to deliberately leave out certain others.
  • Constantly bearing the brunt of jokes which is often a cover up for racial and sexual discrimination or harassment.
  • Always insulting a specific staff member as to their work and discussing their personal lives that is not in any way related to their work.

Psychological Injury

When a person is the target of bullying at work, they may frequently complain of stress induced illnesses such as migraine, nausea, rashes, ulcer, insomnia, nervousness and raised blood pressure. They may suffer from psychological problems including low self-esteem, depression and panic attacks. Employees are often reluctant to go to work in order to avoid hearing insults aimed at them which causes their work standards to suffer.

Failure to address the problem of bullying at work may severely affect the business including :-

  • Frequent absences and sick leave of employees due to stress which may mean a loss of ability for company projects to meet deadlines.
  • Lowered morale and functionality of the employees.
  • A decrease in the output and quality of work.
  • Failure to keep competent and efficient employees.
  • Reduction in amount and quality of work production.
  • Expenses and compensation paid by the firm as a result of claims by employees made to the Employment Tribunal.

Employers Responsibilities

Under The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers have a legal responsibility to see to the safety, health and welfare of their employees to a reasonable degree. An employer who does not comply with this mandate is in breach of that individual's contract of employment. As a result, that employee may have a claim that a work bullying solicitor can take before the Employment Tribunal and possibly the civil court. Additionally, workplace bullying can potentially constitute racial or sexual discrimination. It may also be deemed a criminal offence under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, subjecting the offender to fines or even imprisonment.

Resolving Bullying

Unless there is a reasonable likelihood of a violent, physical confrontation, victims of workplace bullying should start by making a direct request that the behaviour stop. If the request is ignored or denied, the next step is to speak with someone in senior management who has a legal responsibility to handle this type of behaviour in the workplace. Should that fail, then it's time to contact a solicitor with specialised knowledge of workplace bullying. Be sure to keep detailed notes of the incidents as they occur, including time, date, place, description of the incident, names of the harasser(s) and the names of any potential witnesses.

Covert & Subtle Bullying

Bullying at work is not always obvious and on the rare occasion when it is clear it is more often than not likely to be classed as harassment, which often has a strong physical element. This problem is often carried out covertly or in a relatively subtle manner often over a long period of time with many incidents which considered individually may be trivial in effect however when considered together may have a serious impact on a victims health, welfare and state of mind both in and out of work.

Whilst bullying at work tends to involve much less physical intrusion than harassment and rarely extends to damage to personal possessions or to work that has been carried out it is nevertheless a very serious cumulative problem for the individual victim. Actions that may come under this description include manipulation of holiday schedules, excessive demands for output from superiors, line managers, foremen, management or co-workers, being unfairly critical of a worker in front of other people, interfering with and influencing promotion prospects or making detrimental comments or defamatory allegations about the worker. Recognising bullying at work is a major problem as it is rarely confined to overt aggression and is much more likely to be devious, subverted and covert with the aggressor doing as much as possible to cover up their tracks.

Employment Law

The following additional statutes may apply to bullying and provide information and assistance to a solicitor contemplating taking action in the Employment Tribunal:-

  • Employment Rights Act 1996
  • Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
  • Employment Relations Act 1999
  • Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992
  • Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993
  • European Working Time Directive
  • Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994
  • Protection from Harassment Act 1997
  • Articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • Malicious Communications Act (1988)
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Employment Rights (Dispute Resolution) Act 1998
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Freedom of Information Act 2000
  • Access to Medical Reports Act 1988
  • Employment Act 2002

Health & Safety at Work Act

According to the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, employers are legally bound to secure the health, wellbeing and safety of their employees. Failure to this may make them liable for legal action in a claim for compensation in the Employment Tribunal and Civil Courts as a result of breach of contract between them and their employee. It may also be considered as a failure to follow the racial and sexual discrimination and harassment laws and also as an offense against the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 leading to possible prosecution and imprisonment.

Employers Bullying Policy

Bullying at work can be a real problem for employers who may be held liable to pay compensation if the aggrieved victim has not been adequately protected from unlawful behaviour by another employee. Employers will in many cases have a ‘Bullying Policy’ which should be consulted by any employee who has suffered from bullying at work. If you believe that you ae being bullied at work you should keep a full and detailed diary of events over a reasonable period of time. It may be sensible to initially report the errant behaviour to management or a union representative failing which you should consult a work bullying solicitor. If the bullying becomes intense and you have no sensible alternative other than to resign it may be possible to take legal action in the Employment Tribunal for constructive dismissal which is effectively a forced resignation because of untenable working conditions.

Employment Tribunal

Do you feel that you are frequently the centre of unjust treatment by a co-worker, by your supervisor or by the boss? This type of treatment is unlawful and you should take advice on workplace bullying from an expert employment solicitor who can make an application for a workplace bullying compensation claim against the company in the Employment Tribunal. :-

    According to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, it is now the responsibility of employers to take reasonable care of the health, well-being and security of their employees. Failure to do so, and this covers bullying at work, is a breach of the contract of employment and is subject to legal procedures.

Constructive Dismissal

When an employee is forced to resign because they cannot stand the treatment that they are receiving from their employers or co-workers, they may be considered victims of constructive dismissal and can claim compensation from the Employment Tribunal. If you think that you may be a victim of these violations of your rights as a result of bullying at work and you would like to claim compensation you should seek legal advice from a specialist employment solicitor.

Unlawful & Criminal

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 imposes a legal duty on employers to look after health, safety and welfare of their employees so far as is reasonably possible. If they do not do this they are breaching an individuals contract of employment and action may be available both in the Bristol Employment Tribunal and in the Civil Courts. This type of behaviour may also be a breach of the sexual and racial harassment or discrimination legislation as well as a criminal offence justifying fines or imprisonment under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

Unfair Dismissal Solicitors

Our employment solicitors provide sound, qualified advice on all matters related to employment disputes in the United Kingdom including claims for bullying at work. If you need free initial advice call us or complete the contact form and our unfair dismissal solicitors will be pleased to help you out, with no further obligation on your part.