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Bullying in the workplace

An image of a laptop with the word bullying written on its screen

Bullying and harassment is behaviour that makes someone feel intimidated or offended and can include unfair treatment, spreading malicious rumours, regularly undermining someone or denying training or promotion opportunities.  It can happen face to face, by e-mail, phone or letter.

Bullying itself is not against the law, but under the Equality Act 2010, harassment is and it's when unwanted behaviour is related to any of the following:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief

National support

If you believe you're being bullied or harassed at work, there's information and advice available from a number of different organisations.

Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) provide free and impartial information and advice to employees and employers on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law, including bullying and harassment.

Bullying UK is part of national charity Family Lives and offer a vast range of useful advice and information about bullying at work.

Citizens Advice offer information and advice on bullying, harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

​The Government has some helpful information around bullying and harassment at work, including what you can do as an employee and employer's responsibilities.

The NHS has some useful information on how to identify if you're being bullied at work, how to stop it and advice for getting support.