Woman at work with hand on her shoulder

What to do if you’re being bullied at work

Workplace Bullying Advice

Workplace bullying includes both verbal and physical abuse at work. You may feel unfairly treated, intimidated, humiliated, excluded or harassed. If someone’s behaviour at work is making you feel uncomfortable, there are things that you can do about it.

Talk about it

Being bullied at work causes a great deal of stress and upset, affecting your mental health and well-being. But remember, bullying is unacceptable and there is help and guidance available. Speak with us, we can help. Or talking about your problems with a trusted friend, colleague or family member can also help. Alternatively, you can also call the National Bullying Helpline or a mental health advice line such as Breathing Space Scotland for free. But our trained team are here for you. No matter what your situation, we are here to listen and give you free, confidential and impartial advice. You can contact us online, chat online or call us on 0141 775 3220.

A girl sitting at a desk looking intimidated by a man

If you’re not ready to talk about how you are being bullied at work, or if you want to take some proactive steps to solving the issue first, follow the below:

Keep a record

Firstly, it’s important to start keeping a diary of events. This is the best way to reaffirm your concerns and show evidence should you require it if and when you take action. And by writing down specific incidents of bullying, including when and where they occurred will show a timeline of issues and actions.

Speak to the bully

If you feel safe and able to do so, speak to the person directly. Calmly let them know how their behaviour is making you feel. They might not realise how much distress their actions are causing. Again, make note of what was said and the date of this conversation on your work bullying timeline. And prepare what you want to say ahead of time so that when the moment is right you are calm and in control of your emotions. Again, if you need help with this, speak to our team for advice and guidance.

Two men fighting at work and another trying to separate them

Go to your employer

If speaking to the bully doesn’t work or you feel uncomfortable doing so, go to your employer. They have an obligation to protect you from abusive behaviour in the workplace.

In the first instance, ask for a meeting with your line manager, HR manager or someone else in a position of authority. Explain the person’s behaviour and how it is affecting you. If you feel unsatisfied with the outcome, you can raise a formal grievance.

Legal action

If you are unable to resolve the issue with your employer, you may be able to take legal action at an employment tribunal. Some workers are protected from harassment under the Equality Act 2010. Check what’s classed as harassment under the law and if you are protected by the act. And our team can not only guide you on this path, but we can help with form filling, meetings and planning too. So contact us at any time online, chat online or call us on 0141 775 3220.

Man being bullied by email or text at work

Useful Resources in Scotland:

Speak to us

If you need help going through this process, or if you need any further advice at all on workplace bullying, your local Citizens Advice Bureau can help. Residents of East Dunbartonshire can contact us here for a chat.

Contact us online | Chat online | Call us on 0141 775 3220

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