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Compensation for Bullying: Am I Entitled to a Payout?

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Carrie Tennick, September 03, 2021

Being bullied at work is one of the most stressful things a person can go through. It can cause you to suffer from stress and anxiety. One academic study has referred to a “growing body of research [which] has confirmed that workplace bullying is a source of distress and poor mental health”.

It showed that there is an association between workplace bullying and symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress-related psychological complaints.

This can then result in a negative impact on your work performance, which can put your employment at risk.

It’s something that companies would pay more attention to, in an ideal world. But unfortunately, that’s not the world we currently live in.

As a result, too many people are struggling with bullying. But there is hope for some.

You may be entitled to a compensation payout for bullying, with the right legal help.

Examples of bullying

Although there is no protection from bullying written into the law, it is illegal for a colleague or manager to harass you on the basis of a protected characteristic. If someone you work with does this, you may be able to make a claim against your employer.

The Equality Act 2010 sets out eight protected characteristics:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

So if you have experienced bullying because of one of these characteristics, it becomes harassment. And because there are laws against harassing people, you could take legal action.

According to Acas, some common examples of workplace bulling include:

  • someone at your level or a more junior level continually overruling your authority
  • someone continually putting you down in meetings
  • someone spreading rumours about you
  • your boss continually giving you heavier workloads than everyone else
  • your boss not letting you go on training courses but allowing everyone else to
  • your team never letting you join social events

It could also take the form of physical intimidation and threats. This is much rarer but it is some of the most serious

Bullying doesn’t always have to happen in person. It could happen just as easily online – and with the increase in remote working that the Covid-19 lockdown resulted in, this may even have become more likely.

It is important to note that if you are being bullied by a colleague outside of work rather than on the job, it will be unlikely that you’ll be able to take action. This is because your employer rarely has a duty of care to you outside of work.

But they are responsible for your health and safety at work. And if your mental health is suffering as a result of bullying, they could be held liable.

Bullying compensation payouts

If you’ve been the victim of harassment at work, you could be able to make a claim against your employer for not protecting you.

Your solicitor may take on your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. In cases like this, there is no financial risk to pursuing legal action for the harm you’ve suffered.

We understand that it can be intimidating to make a claim against your employer. We know that you might not want to cause any conflict or potentially put your job at risk. But if you do choose to leave your job because of the harassment you’ve experienced, you could be able to make a constructive dismissal claim.

You may first want to approach the person who has been bullying you to see if you can resolve the situation. If this doesn’t work or you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you could speak to your HR representative or line manager.

It could be helpful to keep a record of instances where you have been the victim of bullying. This could help to prove your case if you decide to take legal action.

To find out how First4Lawyers could help you find the right employment solicitor to get you the bullying compensation payout you may be entitled to.

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