20 March 2008
Workplace bullying 'more harmful than sexual harassment'
Workplace bullying appears to inflict more harm on employees than sexual harassment, experts have said.
Speaking recently at the Seventh International Conference on Work, Stress and Health, Dr Sandy Hershcovis of the University of Manitoba stated that as sexual harassment becomes less acceptable in society, companies may be more "attuned" to helping victims of it, who may in turn find it easier to cope.
She added: "In contrast, non-violent forms of workplace aggression such as incivility and bullying are not illegal, leaving victims to fend for themselves."
Bullying was described by the expert as behaviour including persistently criticising employees' work, spreading gossip or lies, ignoring or excluding workers and insulting employees' habits, attitudes or private lives, among other things.
Workers looking to take a grievance to an employment tribunal were recently advised that claims have to be made within certain time limits otherwise they will not generally be considered, north-east newspaper the Evening Gazette reported.