Harassment at work
Harassment at work and bullying in the workplace is unpleasant for employees and managers, damaging for organisations and can result in serious illness as well as legal claims: both against the perpetrator as well as the employer.
This short note provides some information about what harassment at work is, legally.
If you are an employer who has become aware of harassment in the workplace, please refer to our disciplinary procedures product.
Do you need a lawyer to help you with harassment at work?
- If you are an employee and you think you are being harassed at work, take a look at our bullying and harassment representation page.
- If you are an employer and an employee is making harassment allegations take a look at the effective disciplinary and grievance procedures service.
What is harassment at work?
Harassment at work is defined as unwanted conduct affecting the dignity of men and women in the workplace. It can of course take many forms and can be physical or emotional.
Harassment at work differs from general bullying as it refers only to unwanted conduct on grounds of the legally protected characteristics such as race, gender etc. In other words, if an employee is being aggressive towards another employee because they are female this is harassment. If the reason for the conduct is that the aggressor believes the victim has stolen from him, this is bullying not harassment.