Prime target: Bullying in the workplace

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The TV and Press are buzzing at the moment with allegations that Gordon Brown has bullied members of staff in Downing Street and Whitehall.

Bullying and harassment in the workplace give rise to a number of legal issues:

  • An employer may be liable under the discrimination legislation if it fails to protect its employees and other workers from harassment in the course of their employment.
  • The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 may also impose liability on an employer for a course of conduct amounting to harassment by an employee.
  • Employers also have a number of implied contractual duties, including a duty to provide a safe and suitable working environment, a duty not to destroy mutual trust and confidence, and a duty to provide redress of grievances.