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DIGNITY AT WORK Powered By Docstoc

A Comprehensive Guide
for Workplace Representatives
in the ‘Not for Profit’ Sector
of Unite the Union


     1. INTRODUCTION                                              2
     2. PURPOSE OF GUIDE                                          3
     3. WHAT IS DIGNITY AT WORK?                                  4
     4. DEFINING UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR                           5
     5. COMMON FEATURES IN DEFINITIONS                            6
     6. A WORKING DEFINITION                                      7
     7. TYPES OF BULLYING                                         8
     8. EXAMPLES OF BEHAVIOUR                                    10
     9. ADVISING TARGETS/MEMBERS                                 12
     10. REPRESENTING AN ALLEGED PERPETRATOR                     20
     12. METHODS OF RESOLUTION                                   24
     13. A COLLECTIVE APPROACH                                   25
     14. ORGANISING                                              27
     15. CONCLUSION                                              28
     16. APPENDIX ONE: EXPECTED BEHAVIOURS                       29
     19. REFERENCES                                              33


The very least any worker should come to expect is ‘Dignity at Work’ and yet
unacceptable behaviour, bullying and harassment show themselves in the workplace all
too frequently.
The Not for Profit Sector is far from exempt from this, in fact one of the most frequent
issues that representatives and Officers of Unite deal with in the Sector appertains to
bullying in one form or another.
It is well documented that 1 employee in every 5 will experience bullying at some point
in their working lives and the outcome of this can be devastating. Many remain scarred
from their experiences, others have to move from their job, whilst most will testify that it
has resulted in ill health, distress and an adverse impact on their personal and family
lives, not to mention their work.
It is also our experience that employers in the Not for Profit Sector struggle to manage
unacceptable behaviour appropriately and expeditiously, causing further distress to the
targets of such behaviour.
Unite is leading the way in reversing these trends. From drawing on the experience of
our members and representatives, progressive employers and that of international
experts, we have produced this guide to enable all representatives to be well equipped in
handling members’ cases. This guide will assist in identifying the forms of unacceptable
behaviour that have taken place and the appropriate resolution to the situation.
Furthermore, this guide also helps representatives to challenge their organisations and to
work with them toward adopting a zero tolerance approach.
As representatives, a key objective which we should all strive for is to ensure we are all
treated with ‘Dignity at Work’.
Rachael Maskell
Unite National Officer
Community and Not for Profit Sector

    2. Purpose of Guide

    This guide is intended to be of specific use
    to workplace representatives who may find
    themselves advising or supporting
    members who believe they have been the
    target of unacceptable behaviour in the
    workplace and potentially ‘bullied’ or
    ‘harassed’. It is also intended to be of use
    when representing members who are the
    alleged perpetrators of such behaviour.
    Trying to promote dignity at work and
    dealing with the issues surrounding
    unacceptable behaviour, bullying and
    harassment can be extremely complex.
    The consequences are potentially very
    costly and personally devastating. For these
    reasons no advice is better than incorrect
    or inappropriate advice, no matter how
    well intentioned.
    Representatives within the ‘Not for Profit’
    sector may find themselves in a position
    of either offering some very brief
    informal advice to members or having to
    become involved in quite complex and
    detailed representations and potential
    This guide is exactly that, just a guide, and
    is not meant to be definitive or cover every
    scenario or eventuality. It should however
    provide an initial reference point from
    which to develop an understanding and
    ensure as much as possible that the advice
    and support given is directly related to the
    available research on the subject and the
    actual experiences of workplace
    The guide is intended to complement
    existing Unite publications and to focus in
    more detail on areas not covered in the
    other materials. There is a very useful
    publication, the union’s “Guide to Tackling
    Bullying at Work” which can be accessed
    via the Unite website.
    In addition the Unite sponsored ‘Dignity at
    Work Partnership’ has produced a number
    of publications and tools.
    Remember that in many instances
    members may require far more support
    and advice than representatives can or
    should personally offer. All representatives
    should identify their own support needs to
    deal with the technical and emotional
    issues involved.

3. What is Dignity at Work?

THE CONCEPT                                        Unlike the U.K. a number of European
                                                   countries do have specific legislation in
Dignity at work is a term used to describe
                                                   place to address dignity at work issues,
how we should treat colleagues with
                                                   specifically bullying.
dignity and respect within the workplace.
It is about behaviour both from an                 THE DIGNITY AT WORK PARTNERSHIP
organisations point of view and as
                                                   The Partnership was established in July
individuals towards our colleagues. It is
                                                   2004, following a successful bid by Unite
about valuing and respecting others,
                                                   (Amicus Section) for £1 million from the
including their qualities and their differences.
                                                   Government. Initially set up to run for a
LEGAL BACKGROUND                                   three year period, the project seeks to
                                                   encourage cultural change whereby trade
In the U.K. the Dignity at Work Bill was
                                                   unions, employers and employees work in
initially drafted by MSF Union in 1996 and
                                                   partnership to foster greater respect and
was steered through the House of Lords in
                                                   dignity for all, and establish a zero
December 1996 and January 1997 by Lord
                                                   tolerance approach to bullying and
Monkswell. Attempts to introduce the Bill
                                                   harassment at work.
into the House of Commons were blocked
by John Major’s Conservative Government            DIGNITY AT WORK POLICIES
in February 1997 and the Bill was put on
                                                   Dignity at Work policies are a relatively
                                                   recent concept. Previously most
The Bill started its progress again through        workplaces would have a number of stand
the House of Lords in December 2001                alone policies dealing with issues such as
under the guidance of Baroness Ann                 bullying and harassment, discrimination,
Gibson, chair of the Unite (Amicus)/               equal opportunities and diversity.
Government, ‘Dignity at Work Partnership’.
                                                   Dignity at Work policies attempt to bring
The term can also be found in European             all of these topics together under one
law, whereby harassment and discrimina-            umbrella policy although this should not
tion are examples of unacceptable                  be at the expense of minimising the
behaviour which “affect the dignity of             importance of each separate and distinct
men and women at work”.                            topic. The intention is to focus more on
                                                   promoting positive behaviours whilst
Some aspects of unacceptable behaviour
                                                   ensuring there are clear and effective
are addressed in employment legislation,
                                                   procedures for dealing with the negative
for example in areas of discrimination and
                                                   behaviours associated with bullying,
harassment, however there is as yet no
                                                   discrimination and harassment.
specific statute regarding bullying in the

     4. Defining Unacceptable Behaviour

    THE IMPORTANCE OF DEFINITION                       identity i.e. their gender, ethnicity, sexuality
                                                       etc. There is no such focus with bullying.
    To promote a culture of dignity and
    respect and minimise incidents of                  At times bullying can involve highly
    unacceptable behaviour becoming issues             aggressive or violent acts but generally
    of potential bullying and harassment it is         behaviours tend to be subtle, persistent
    crucial to define the type of behaviour            and long term in nature. This is in contrast
    considered unacceptable, and to provide            to harassment, where a single gross act,
    examples so that people understand what            say of a sexual or racist nature, can be
    is meant by it.                                    regarded as harassment.
    The terms ‘bullying’ and ‘harassment’ are          It should also be noted that some defini-
    often misused and a failure to clearly             tions of bullying exclude ‘physical violence’
    define can lead to confusion, misunder-            and ‘physical assault’ as examples of
    standing and conflict between all of the           bullying behaviour, viewing such behaviour
    parties involved. This is an unnecessary           as so extreme that it stands alone.
    and costly diversion to effectively dealing
                                                       BULLYING BEHAVIOUR
    with the issues and more likely to result in
    problems not being satisfactorily resolved.        “Workplace bullying is behaving in a way
                                                       that is offensive, intimidating, malicious or
    Behaviours associated with bullying and
                                                       insulting, with the result being that the
    harassment are often subtle in nature, may
                                                       targeted person feels undermined,
    seem very trivial when viewed in isolation
                                                       humiliated or injured.
    and tend to take place without witnesses.
    This makes it far more difficult to prove as       Whatever form the bullying or harassment
    it tends to be regarded as people’s                takes it is unwarranted and unwelcome to
    subjective interpretations of events.              the individual.”
    Witnesses who are unaware of the context
    of a situation or the history between indi-        Bullying is “repeated and persistent
    viduals, or who simply don’t understand            negative acts that are directed towards
    what constitutes unacceptable behaviour,           one or several individuals, and which
    can easily interpret events completely             create a hostile work environment. In
    differently to the parties directly involved.      bullying the targeted person has difficulties
                                                       defending him/herself; it is therefore not a
    Therefore the significance of a particular
                                                       conflict between parties of equal
    event may only be known by the
    perpetrator and the target. This makes
                                                       Denise Salin, 2001
    it far easier for the perpetrator to
    manipulate the situation.                          “A situation where one or several
                                                       individuals persistently over a period of
                                                       time perceive to be on the receiving end of
    “Harassment, in general terms, is unwanted         negative actions from one or several
    conduct affecting the dignity of men and           persons, in a situation where a target of
    women in the workplace. It may be                  bullying has difficulty in defending
    related to age, sex, race, disability, religion,   him/herself against these actions. We will
    sexual orientation, nationality or any other       not refer to one-off incidents as bullying.”
    personal characteristic, and may be                Helge Hoel & Cary L. Cooper, 2000
    persistent or an isolated incident.
                                                       “Bullying can take many forms. It is
    The key to this is that the actions or             generally accepted as unwanted behaviour
    comments are viewed as demeaning and               that offends, persecutes or excludes
    unaceptable to the recipient.” ACAS                someone. It includes treating individuals in
                                                       a demeaning and unacceptable way and
    It is common for employers and employees
                                                       can be intimidating, malicious or insulting,
    alike to lump together the two concepts
                                                       or a misuse of power to undermine,
    of harassment and bullying. Although they
                                                       humiliate, threaten or cause injury.
    may be similar in terms of impact and
                                                       Harassment is usually seen as constant
    underlying principles, and always involving
                                                       interference or intimidation that violates
    some abuse of power, they are different in
                                                       people’s dignity or creates a hostile or
    other respects.
                                                       degrading environment.”
    The key difference is that harassment              Dignity at Work Partnership: “Beat
    focuses on an individual or groups social          bullying in the workplace” guide, 2007
 5. Common Features in Definitions

When we look at the different                   ISSUES OF POWER
definitions of bullying given above,
                                                Bullying can happen when an unequal
or others, some common themes
                                                balance of power exists between two
emerge. Definitions of bullying make
                                                individuals in a conflict situation. Sources
reference to
                                                of power include:
• negative behaviours,
                                                Positional power – the power of a role
• frequency of behaviours,                      or position
• duration of behaviours,                       Relationship power – the power of a
• issues of power/iimbalance of power and
                                                Resources power – the power to with-
• some refer to intentionality.
                                                hold scarce resources essential to one’s role
NEGATIVE BEHAVIOURS/                            Psychological power – the power of
CONSEQUENCES                                    recognising an individual’s vulnerabilities
Virtually all definitions make some             and exploiting this knowledge to the
reference to negative behaviours or acts        person’s detriment
carried out. Common words used are:             Knowledge power – the power to
Abusive, coercive, controlling, criticising,    withhold information.
degrading, demeaning, excluding,                Delegated power – the power to use
humiliating, insulting, isolating, intimidat-   your relationship with someone to
ing, malicious, manipulative, offensive,        undermine and/or threaten others.
oppressive, persecuting, ridiculing,
threatening, undermining, victimising.          INTENTION
In terms of negative consequences felt by       Definitions focus more on the impact of
the target, common words include:               the behaviour on the target rather than
                                                whether there was intention.
Anger, anxiety, contempt, distress, fear,
frustration, injury, resentment, stress,        It is not the intention of the
suspicion, upset, vulnerability.                perpetrator that is the key to deciding
                                                whether bullying or harassment has
FREQUENCY                                       taken place; the defining principle is
The behaviours are seen to be repeated          whether the behaviour was unacceptable
and persistent. Isolated or occasional          by reasonable normal standards of
incidents of negative behaviour are not         behaviour and is disadvantageous or
normally defined as bullying, even              unwelcome to the person/people
though they should still be regarded            subjected to it.
as unacceptable.                                However, the perpetrator’s intention is
The exception is where the isolated             relevant to understanding the impact of
behaviour is so extreme that it has a           their behaviour on the target and in
lasting negative effect on the target           choosing the most effective ways to try
e.g. being physically threatened.               and resolve the situation. There are three
                                                levels of intent:
                                                Intentional – behaviour directed at the
Most definitions refer to the duration of       target with the intention of causing actual
the behaviours continuing over a period of      occupational, physical or psychological
time and for some targets the experience        harm.
goes on for months or even years.
                                                Instrumental – negative behaviour being
Swedish Professor, Heinz Leymann,
                                                an unintended side-effect of a behaviour
suggested that a target would have to
                                                directed at achieving another goal.
have been exposed to negative behaviours
for more than six months. Such an               Unintentional – a lack of sensitivity or
arbitrary and rigid time period is felt by      awareness of the negative impact of the
many to be unhelpful.                           behaviour.
In their Guide published in 2005 the            It should be borne in mind that ‘intent’ is
Chartered Institute of Personnel and            extremely difficult to prove and very few
Development detailed issues of ‘power’          perpetrators would openly admit to
and ‘intention’ as follows:                     intentionally harming someone.
     6. A Working Definition

    UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR                            and the manager started to regularly
                                                      behave in this way toward the member of
    Any behaviour that could potentially under-
                                                      staff it is far more likely that they will start
    mine someone’s dignity and respect should
                                                      to feel actual harm, especially if they were
    be regarded as unacceptable. If it is not
                                                      being singled out.
    challenged it is likely to escalate into bully-
    ing and harassment and lead to significant        When challenged about their behaviour
    difficulties and costs for all concerned.         the manager may come up with a range
                                                      of excuses and claim that they didn’t mean
    In establishing the links between
                                                      to cause any offence.
    unacceptable behaviour’, ‘bullying’ and
    ‘harassment’ as well as drawing together the      If hit by a car, the injuries are the same
    common themes and issues, the following,          whether it was deliberate or accidental.
    broader definition may be helpful:                Similarly, whether or not there was any
                                                      intention is of no relevance to the
    “Any behaviour, always involving a misuse
                                                      immediate distress the manager caused
    of power, which an individual or group
                                                      the member of staff. It is the actual
    knows, or ought reasonably to know, could
                                                      behaviour and its impact on the member
    have the potential effect of offending,
                                                      that is the relevant factor although the
    humiliating, intimidating or isolating an
                                                      distress felt would likely be greater if the
    individual or group should be regarded as
                                                      behaviour was known to be deliberate.
    unacceptable in the workplace.
                                                      The degree of intent is only relevant
    ‘Unacceptable behaviour’ changes its label
                                                      to how the behaviour should be
    to ‘bullying’ or ‘harassing behaviour’ when
                                                      challenged and how the issues should
    it causes actual harm or distress to the
                                                      be resolved.
    target(s), normally, but not exclusively,
    after a series of incidents over a prolonged      For example, if the manager always
    period of time.                                   targeted particular individuals, would gloat
                                                      about making their lives a misery, the
    Lack of intent does not diminish, excuse or
                                                      power they had over them, how they
    negate the impact on the target or the
                                                      enjoyed getting rid of staff to show the
    distress caused. The degree of intent is
                                                      others who’s boss and had victimised
    only relevant in terms of how the
                                                      anyone who had ever tried to challenge
    behaviour should be challenged and the
                                                      their behaviour in the past, then advising
    issues subsequently resolved.”
                                                      the member of staff to directly confront
    Fergus Roseburgh March 2007
                                                      the manager would not be good advice.
                                                      However, if it was felt that the manager
                                                      was unaware of the consequences of their
    If we take an example of a manager who            behaviour and if confronted was likely to
    criticises a member of her team by angrily        be genuinely mortified and apologetic and
    shouting at them in front of their                anxious to put things right, then an
    colleagues we would probably all agree            informal challenging of their behaviour
    that this should really be regarded as            would be far more appropriate and likely
    unacceptable in the workplace. We would           to lead to a positive resolution.
    probably all agree that the manager ought
                                                      In the first scenario the level of intent
    reasonably to know that such behaviour
                                                      behind the behaviour would suggest that
    could have the potential to cause offence
                                                      any informal resolution would not be
    and humiliation.
                                                      appropriate or successful. Intentional
    In most cases we would expect a                   bullying or harassment should be regarded
    competent and emotionally mature                  as a far more serious offence and a
    manager to recognise that this was                potential disciplinary matter.
    unacceptable on their part, fully apologise
                                                      In the second scenario an informal
    to the member of staff and promise not to
                                                      resolution, such as mediation, is likely to
    repeat such behaviour.
                                                      produce the desired outcome.
    The member of staff would likely feel humili-
                                                      In determining the most productive way of
    ated and offended but this would probably
                                                      resolving an issue, the level of insight into
    subside following a genuine apology and
                                                      the effects on the target which an alleged
    undertaking that there would be no repeat.
                                                      perpetrator has is also extremely relevant
    However, if no apology was forthcoming            and shall be discussed later in this guide.
 7. Types of Bullying

The majority of cases of workplace bullying        think about other people’s behaviour, so
and harassment in the U.K. involve an              their negative behaviours are part of their
individual being bullied or harassed by their      personality and positive behaviours are due
manager. Studies vary between figures of           to external circumstances.
50 – 80%.
                                                   In most cases of escalating conflict, neither
Around a quarter of cases involve bullying         person is entirely passive. As each perceived
and harassment by peers or subordinates            negative act happens, one party will
                                                   respond according to their interpretation of
Both Tim Field’s website and book, “Bully
                                                   the intentions behind the other’s actions.
In Sight”, and the C.I.P.D. Guide, written
                                                   As the atmosphere deteriorates, it’s
by Noreen Tehrani, offer excellent insight
                                                   possible that both people come to believe
into the different ‘types of bullying’:
                                                   that the other is responsible for the
Pressure/unwitting - We are all prone to           breakdown of the relationship, and either
this. A ‘bad day at the office’ when under         may accuse the other of bullying.
stress we can ‘snap’ or do something we
                                                   Passive-aggressive - This form of bullying
know is wrong and hurtful. We quickly
                                                   can be very difficult to recognise. People
apologise and don’t repeat the behaviour.
                                                   who use passive-aggressive bullying as a
This should not be referred to as ‘bullying’
                                                   way of undermining and manipulating
but should be regarded as unacceptable.
                                                   others tend to focus on the disadvantages
Predatory - This happens when the target           in any suggestion or idea. However, instead
of the bullying has done nothing to justify        of being open about their disagreements,
the negative behaviour to them. The bully          they will resist undertaking any tasks
may be using the innocent target to                allocated to them and covertly sabotage or
demonstrate their power to others, or the          undermine the efforts of their manager
target may belong to a separate group and          and others. Passive-aggressive bullies resist
is attacked as a representative of that            undertaking routine social and occupational
group. Predatory bullying is more common           tasks and constantly complain about being
in organisations where the culture permits         misunderstood or unappreciated.
or even rewards this kind of behaviour and
                                                   They can demonstrate a wide range of
the bully feels they are unlikely to be
                                                   emotions depending on what they want to
punished for their bad behaviour. Targets
                                                   achieve. To a peer or subordinate they can
of predatory bullying find it hard to
                                                   be sullen or argumentative as a way of
understand what they have done to cause
                                                   avoiding work. On the other hand, they
the problems. However, the target doesn’t
                                                   may be playful and charming to get the
need to have done anything wrong to
                                                   attention of their manager. Passive-aggres-
cause the bullying.
                                                   sive bullies alternate between hostile
Dispute-related - This develops out of a           attacks and contrition. They tend to
perceived slight or conflict that has got out of   emphasise their personal misfortunes, diffi-
hand, souring the atmosphere in the work-          culties or needs as a way of manipulating
place. One person believes that the other has      others to provide them with help and sup-
wronged them, so the conflict escalates into       port, or to deflect blame away from them.
a personal vendetta where the destruction of
                                                   Corporate - This is where the employer
the opponent becomes the goal.
                                                   abuses employees with impunity knowing
Dispute-related conflict involves intense          that the law is weak and jobs are scarce.
emotions leading each side to experience
                                                   Organisational - This is a combination of
feelings of fear, suspicion, resentment, con-
                                                   pressure bullying and corporate bullying
tempt and anger. An allegation of bullying
                                                   and occurs when an organisation struggles
is used as a tactic between the opponents.
                                                   to adapt to changing markets, reduced
Escalating - Bullying can be explained by          income, cuts in budgets, imposed
the way we attribute the reasons for our           expectations, and other external pressures.
own and other people’s behaviours. When
                                                   Institutional - This is similar to corporate
we think about our own behaviour we
                                                   bullying and arises when bullying becomes
tend to see positive behaviours as part of
                                                   entrenched and accepted as part of the
our personality and values and we put our
                                                   culture. People are moved on, long existing
negative behaviours down to external
                                                   contracts are replaced with new short term
                                                   contracts on less favourable terms with the
However, the opposite is true when we              accompanying threat of “agree to this or
    else”, workloads are increased, work              condition. They tend to have difficulty in
    schedules are changed, roles are changed,         sustaining relationships with other people
    career progression paths are blocked or           and see their own negative behaviours as
    terminated etc. and all of this is without        virtues and strengths.
                                                      They will also frequently have a hidden
    Senior team tactics – In some                     agenda combined with low levels of
    organisations, the chief executive may            emotional intelligence and rigid, irrational
    appoint a confederate to carry out harsh          belief patterns. It’s important to remember
    and uncaring actions, leaving the CEO             that personality disorders are an illness and
    with clean hands. When challenged, the            that the person may have little control over
    CEO may even appear genuinely                     their behaviour.
    concerned about the negative
                                                      Secondary – This is mostly unwitting
    behaviours, and may even punish the
                                                      bullying which people start exhibiting when
    henchman/woman if things go too far.
                                                      there’s a serial bully in the department. The
    Client – This is where the employees are          pressure of trying to deal with a dysfunc-
    bullied by those they serve e.g. teachers         tional, divisive and aggressive serial bully
    bullied by pupils and parents, nurses by          causes everyone’s behaviour to decline.
    patients and their relatives, social
                                                      Merry-go-round – This occurs when the
    workers by their clients, executive boards
                                                      serial bully selects one member of a team
    by shareholders, projects by external
                                                      at a time to bully. All the team is constantly
    funding bodies etc.
                                                      on edge as to whether or not it’s their
    Client bullying can also be employees             ‘turn’ to be bullied.
    bullying their clients e.g. care staff bullying
                                                      Pair/‘Good guy’, ‘bad guy’ – This is a
    vulnerable residential home clients, buyers
                                                      serial bully with a colleague. Often one
    bullying their suppliers, etc.
                                                      does the talking whilst the other watches
    Serial – This is where the source of all          and listens.
    dysfunction can be traced to one
                                                      The ‘good guy’ will apparently be friendly
    individual, who picks on one employee
                                                      and concerned about the target. They will
    after another and seeks to destroy them.
                                                      find out about the impact of the negative
    This is the type of bullying Tim Field            behaviours and encourage the target to
    focused on and most of his book and               talk about their fears and concerns. This
    website is devoted to describing and              information is then passed to the ‘bad guy’
    defining the serial bully.                        as further information on how to be more
                                                      accurate in the targeting of the negative
    Personality disordered – This is linked to
    the behaviour exhibited by the serial bully
    described above.                                  Gang – This is a serial bully with colleagues.
                                                      Gangs can occur anywhere but flourish in
    People with a personality disorder may use
                                                      corporate bullying climates. If the bully is
    bullying as a way of achieving their goals.
                                                      an extrovert, they are likely to be leading
    Personality disorders are long-standing
                                                      from the front. If the bully is an introvert,
    disturbances that commonly begin in late
                                                      they will be in the background initiating
    adolescence and continue throughout life.
                                                      the mayhem but probably not taking an
    People with personality disorders engage
                                                      active part, and may thus be harder to
    in repetitive patterns of behaviour in their
    work and other relationships. Usually the
    people suffering from personality disorders       A common tactic is to tell everyone a
    are unaware of the impact their behaviour         different story and encourage each person
    is having on others and frequently don’t          to think they are the only one with the
    believe they have a problem.                      correct story.
    There are many types of personality               ‘Gang’ bullying is what some refer to as
    disorder and some of the milder versions          ‘mobbing’.
    are sometimes valued in the workplace
                                                      As this happens in a group, individuals
    e.g. to be single minded in approach can
                                                      don’t need to behave in particularly bad
    be viewed as an advantage.
                                                      ways or act on a frequent basis for the
    However, people with more developed                target to feel extreme distress. It’s also
    personality disorders are very difficult to       easier for the individuals to justify and get
    handle due to the nature of their                 away with their infrequent bad behaviour.
Vicarious/Delegated – This is where two              The serial bully bequeaths a dysfunctional
parties are encouraged to engage in                  environment to those who are left. This
adversarial interaction or conflict. It is           can last for years.
similar to gang bullying, although the bully
may or may not be directly connected with            Cyber – This is the misuse of modern
either of the two parties.                           communications such as email systems,
                                                     internet forums, mobile phones etc. for
One party becomes the bully’s instrument             sending aggressive ‘flame mails’ and other
and is deceived and manipulated into                 messages. Serial bullies tend to have few
bullying the other. An example of vicarious          communication skills, thus the impersonal
bullying is where the serial bully creates           nature of email etc. makes it an ideal tool
conflict between employer and employee,              for causing conflict. Sometimes called
particularly to stoke a conflict, but rarely         ‘cyberstalking’.
taking an active part in the conflict themselves.
Regulation – This is where a serial bully            Subordinate – A small number of cases
forces their target to comply with rules,            involve the bullying of a manager by a
regulations, procedures of law regardless of         subordinate. Sometimes this can be subtle
their appropriateness, applicability or necessity.   and unintentional but the impact is
                                                     disruptive. It can involve procrastination,
Legal – The bringing of a vexatious legal            undermining, publicly challenging,
action to control and punish a person. This          withholding information from, or failing to
is a particularly vindictive form of bullying.       pass on important messages. When a
Residual – This is the bullying of all kinds         group of subordinates is involved the
that continues after a serial bully has left.        damage to the target can be even greater.

 8. Examples of Behaviour
EXPECTED BEHAVIOUR                                   Staff, management and the trade union
                                                     must sign up to and agree to follow such
“Tackling a difficult and complex issue like
                                                     behaviours. It is helpful to list these for all
bullying at work is about much more than
                                                     staff to refer to and be measured by. (See
having a policy in the staff handbook. It’s
                                                     Appendix One for examples).
not just about an absence of negatives, but
about actively defining and promoting                ‘FIRM MANAGEMENT’ OR ‘BULLYING’?
positive working relationships.
                                                     “Good human relations at work do not
The focus needs to be moved from the                 mean being soft in one’s treatment of
destructive stance of punishing and isolat-          people, but being fair and frank with them,
ing alleged perpetrators to a more explicit          giving praise where praise is due and con-
presentation of positive options.                    structive criticism when such is justified.
                                                     This is important.”Marcus Sieff (Lord
Building a culture of dignity and respect at
                                                     Sieff of Brimpton)
work means creating a workplace where
appropriate ways of behaving are clearly             “You don’t manage people by demeaning
communicated, promoted and supported.                them, devaluing them and putting them
It also means individuals being supported in         down. That’s the most ineffective way of
accepting responsibility for their behaviour         managing human beings. If you don’t
and actions, and working towards solutions           manage your employees well, they’ll leave,
when problems occur.” C.I.P.D. Guide                 so you’d better be good people-managers,
                                                     otherwise you’re going to be out of
If a policy of zero tolerance is to be
                                                     business.” Professor Cary Cooper, BBC
adopted and aspired to, then clearly the
                                                     Radio 4, 1991
leaders of an organisation need to set a
model example of positive and dignified              Many of us, particularly managers, tend to
behaviours for all to follow. In addition            be confused when distinguishing between
such behaviours need to be made explicit             the concepts of firm management and
and promoted widely to all staff.                    ‘bullying’.
     We also make assumptions that the more           everyone is valued and supported. Positive
     senior someone is, the less management           pressure can be harnessed to enhance
     training they need as surely individuals         performance and fuel achievement but this
     would not have been appointed to a               is dependent upon excellent interpersonal
     management position if they didn’t possess       skills, high behavioural maturity, the ability
     the required skills.                             to compromise and clear leadership skills.
     However, the reality is that whilst many         Having to be firm on occasions is
     managers have excellent technical skills,        appropriate when the intention and
     their communication, conflict resolution         outcome is positive and constructive but
     and general people management skills are         this should not be confused with
     sometimes lacking.                               overbearing, condemnatory and often
                                                      covert behaviour, which results in a wholly
     There is a very fine line between ‘firm
                                                      destructive outcome.
     management’ and behaviours associat-
     ed with bullying and harassment. That            ‘Firm management’ is often a euphemism
     line is crossed when an individual or            for behaviours which are experienced as
     group is persistently targeted with              domineering, isolating, threatening and
     behaviours that cause distress.                  coercive and create a climate of fear.
     It is extremely important to understand and      ‘Firm management’ becomes unacceptable
     recognise the distinct behaviours of ‘firm       behaviour when professional firmness is
     management’ as opposed to the                    tainted with an element of personal
     unacceptable behaviours associated with          vindictiveness. Attempting to make people
     ‘bullying’ and ‘harassment’.                     toe the line by singling them out,
                                                      demeaning and devaluing them should not
     Often managers accused of ‘bullying’ or
                                                      be labelled as a style of management.
     ‘harassment’ find it difficult to recognise
     themselves as behaving in an unacceptable        Being ‘firm’ does not mean displaying
     or aggressive way and describe such              unfair and unethical behaviours that cause
     behaviour as just being ‘firm’. Conversely,      extreme distress and disruption to the
     some managers are concerned that in              individual, group and ultimately the whole
     having to be firm to tackle poor performance     organisation.
     or conduct issues they will be accused of
                                                      Being ‘firm’ is unlikely to affect people’s
     being a ‘bully’.
                                                      mental and physical health and normally
     In addition, unacceptable behaviour can          everyone is on the receiving end. If the
     soon become part of an organisations             manager becomes too overbearing they
     culture and thrive where it is confused with     can be challenged by the whole team
     ‘firm’, ‘strong’ or ‘robust’ management.         without fear of reprisal. Sometimes even a
     Where this is the case it tends to filter from   ‘good moan’ among colleagues will relieve
     the top down as people follow the example        the tension.
     set by their leaders.
                                                      Managers do need to be ‘firm’ at times but
     This is especially the case in highly            this should always be done in a way which
     competitive and pressured environments           does not undermine the dignity and self
     where many managers consider such                respect of those staff they manage.
     behaviour as the accepted and justified
                                                      UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR
     method of motivating staff and achieving
     results. Whilst this may result in the           Providing a detailed list of examples of
     achievement of some short-term goals it          unacceptable behaviour will help a member
     will have a negative effect on productivity      who has raised concerns to construct their
     and success over the medium to long-term.        case by enabling them to not only
                                                      understand what is unacceptable but also
     In workplace cultures such as the above
                                                      to put time, dates, details and narrative to
     members may feel that they have to put
                                                      the behaviour they have experienced.
     up with such behaviour as “that’s just the
     way things are” and see it as being ‘part of     Members will often be struggling to
     the job’ and that nothing will ever change.      verbalise what has happened to them.
                                                      They are likely to have difficulty in
     A competent manager may at times need
                                                      compiling a coherent and ordered
     to be firm to achieve agreed objectives but
                                                      recollection of events. Referring to a list
     will demonstrate a style of leadership that
                                                      acts as a useful guide in helping them to
     ensures everyone works together and
                                                      logically structure their experience.
It is particularly important for everyone          due to the subtleties and complexities of
involved to understand that an inability to        the behaviour involved there does not
describe what has happened may be a                appear yet to be any universally agreed
direct consequence of what the member              categorisation.
has suffered and not an indication of lack
                                                   Perhaps the easiest method of
of evidence.
                                                   categorisation would be that developed by
There is some debate as to whether lists of        Professors Helge Hoel and Cary L. Cooper
behaviours associated with bullying and            (2001) who found that behaviours tend to
harassment are useful. Some experts argue          fall into two main categories, personal and
that a long list is too prescriptive and too       work related. One point to bear in mind
short a list is too vague to be useful.            with this method is that some behaviours
                                                   can easily fit into both categories e.g.
Some employers are concerned that having
                                                   shouting at someone could be related to a
an extensive list will lead to a flurry of staff
                                                   personal as well as a work related issue.
claiming that they have been bullied or
harassed but in reality it is extremely diffi-     For the purposes of this guide the
cult to construct a false or malicious claim.      categorisation used will be similar to that
The evidence quite simply will not be there        used by the C.I.P.D. in their guide:
or will not stand up to investigation. It is
                                                   1. Behaviour that offends or insults
however vital to ensure that anyone
assessing evidence has been adequately             2. Behaviour that intimidates or threatens
                                                   3. Behaviour that excludes or isolates
There have been many attempts to try and
                                                   4. Behaviour that is directly work related.
categorise examples of unacceptable/
negative/bullying/harassing behaviours but         (See Appendix Two for examples).

  9. Advising Targets
     of Unacceptable Behaviour
Validate and verify                                themselves. It is not their fault. They did
Acknowledgement and awareness                      not ask to be offended, humiliated,
                                                   intimidated or excluded.
Investigate                                        By being able to put a label on what is
                                                   happening, such as unacceptable behav-
Detail the case
                                                   iour, bullying or harassment, responsibili-
Assess and discuss options                         ty shifts from the member toward the
Take action                                        perpetrator and the burden of guilt can
Evaluate                                           be removed. By having a frame of
                                                   reference and a language to describe
(In trying to remember all of the salient          events the member can find a voice and
points when advising members it may be             start to express what has happened and
helpful to refer to the above acronym).            regain some control of the situation.
VALIDATE AND VERIFY                                In helping the member to develop an
Validate their experience                          understanding of what is happening, they
                                                   can start to employ strategies to positively
A crucial first step for any member who
                                                   confront and deal with the issues.
feels that they have been the target of
unacceptable behaviour, bullying or harass-        Receiving such validation and recognition
ment is to be able to understand what is           is the first step in the healing process.
going on, to validate their experience.            Symptoms
Many targets believe that they are in              The member is likely to be suffering from
some way responsible through some fault            a number of symptoms which are classic
on their part and may also be wondering            indicators of stress i.e. confusion, anxiety,
why they were selected as a target.                insomnia etc. It’s important to advise
Members should never blame                         the member that such symptoms are
     a completely normal reaction to the              Target v victim
     abnormal behaviour to which they
                                                      In supporting members we should always
     have been subjected. This again helps
                                                      be mindful of the language we use and
     to validate their experience.
                                                      the messages such language conveys.
                                                      There is a debate as to whether the word
     One of the most important things a               ‘target’ rather than ‘victim’ is more
     workplace representative can do is               appropriate when referring to those who
     believe the member. Failure to do so only        have suffered from negative behaviours.
     compounds the situation in that it causes
                                                      The word ‘victim’ can be used as a tactic
     secondary wounding to the member.
                                                      to avoid responsibility by playing on the
     This doesn’t mean that you are agreeing          prejudices and preconceived notions
     with everything that they say but simply         about ‘victims’ e.g. that in some way the
     that you believe their perception of what        ‘victim’ invited the behaviour.
     is happening to them. It is primarily this
                                                      Use of the word ‘target’ clearly shifts the
     perception that needs to be taken
                                                      focus of responsibility solely on to the
     Be mindful that there are at least two
                                                      There is never any justification for
     sides to every story when offering
                                                      bullying or harassment.
     validation and support. However the key
     issue is how the behaviour has impacted          Therefore anything that can be done to
     on the target rather than the detail of          minimise the use of excuses for such
     the incidents.                                   behaviour should be followed.
     No advice is better than bad advice              Verify membership
     Everyone concerned, workplace                    Check the person is actually a union
     representative or other, needs to                member and encourage them to join
     understand that this is such a potentially       straightaway if they are not. If they do
     damaging issue that no advice is better          not want to join the union then we
     than bad advice. If you don’t feel               cannot formally represent them and they
     confident, seek advice from elsewhere.           will not have access to the wider support
                                                      and expertise which the union can offer.
     Be aware that, whatever course of action
     is taken, the bully’s behaviour has the          The issues they raise may have
     potential to get worse. It’s a virtual           implications for some of their colleagues,
     certainty that the bully’s behaviour will        who may be union members, and we
     not improve of its own accord. Members           would therefore want to raise the issues
     need to seek help and support now                in support of those members.
     rather than sustaining further injury.
     Whilst it may seem sensible to advise a          AND AWARENESS
     member to try and stand firm, remain
                                                      Part of your role is to assist members to
     confident and keep calm the reality may
                                                      work through and explore their
     well be that the member’s confidence,
                                                      experiences and associated feelings, so
     self-esteem and normal coping
                                                      that these can be put into context.
     mechanisms are low and dysfunctional.
     The advice given should be mindful of            Acknowledge impact
     the physical and psychological impact of         Members may feel that they have to put
     the negative behaviour on the member.            up with bullying behaviour as part of the
     It is very easy to fall into the trap of using   job and may not wish to complain for
     standard clichés, such as "it's normal",         fear of further victimisation or being
     "it's just a personality clash", "don't be so    labelled a troublemaker. Members may
     sensitive", “you’re over reacting”, “it’s        often feel ashamed to discuss their
     just the way they are”, “get over it”,           experiences with colleagues because they
     “take no notice”, “don’t let it worry you”,      feel their professional credibility is being
     “keep your head down”, “ignore it” etc.          called into question.
     This only dissuades the member from              Irrational beliefs can lead to negative
     speaking out about what is happening to          behaviours. For example, where a
     them.                                            member has an irrational belief that
everyone hates them, their behaviour          P.T.S.D. as this disorder is normally
may become aggressive toward their            associated with highly traumatic and
colleagues. This in turn can bring about a    often acute events whereas behaviours
situation in which colleagues become          associated with bullying and harassment
less friendly, thereby reinforcing the        tend to be more subtle and prolonged.
member’s original view.                       An alternative diagnosis is Prolonged
                                              Duress Stress Disorder (P.D.S.D.).
In more extreme cases the member may
well be suffering from shock. Most of         Whilst it is up to a G.P. or specialist to
us tend to think of shock as a natural        diagnose any condition it is helpful to
consequence of a single frightening           understand some of the behavioural
incident. However shock can result from       signs and effects of stress.
a series of small but regular and             (See Appendix three).
persistent unpleasant incidents.
                                              Acknowledge strength
Awareness of effects on health
                                              Acknowledge that the member should
If the member’s health appears to be          not suffer in silence and that by contact-
suffering, psychologically or physically,     ing you they have made the first and
then advise them to visit their G.P. Some     most important step toward resolving
members are reluctant to do this as they      their situation. That takes strength.
see it as a sign of weakness or are
                                              What has happened to them is not a
concerned about having a poor sickness
                                              result of being ‘paranoid’ or ‘mentally ill’.
absence record if they decide to either
                                              What has been inflicted upon them
stay or move on. However insist that
                                              should be referred to as a ‘psychiatric
their health and wellbeing should be the
                                              injury’, an injury caused by something
primary and immediate consideration.
                                              external to them, rather than a ‘mental
Reassure the member that it is not a sign     illness’ which many people assume to be
of weakness and if they are ‘signed off’      inherent and allows for suggestions that
by their G.P. this can help them not only     the member is in some way responsible
recover but also give them the space to       for their condition.
gather their thoughts and make informed
                                              Suggesting a target has a ‘mental illness’
decisions about what to do next.
                                              is sometimes used as a tactic to try and
Advise the member to ensure that if           deny responsibility and legal liability.
‘signed off’ the correct reason is given
                                              Acknowledge fears
i.e. ‘work related stress’ as opposed to
‘stress’ or some other less specific or       Acknowledge and understand that the
ambiguous diagnosis. Should the issues        member may have lost their confidence
become contentious then having an             and be confused about their personal
accurate and specific medical diagnosis is    and professional characteristic and
extremely helpful.                            abilities. Again, it is important to
                                              acknowledge this and reassure them that
Additional support for a member may
                                              all of their feelings are a normal reaction
also be necessary i.e. through a trained
                                              to abnormal circumstances.
counsellor. Some employers provide such
a service.                                    Acknowledge that they may feel terrified
                                              by the prospect of either meeting the
The behaviours associated with bullying
                                              perpetrator face to face at a meeting or
and harassment are a major cause of
                                              of being viewed as a troublemaker. If
stress in the work place. In the most seri-
                                              possible, offer reassurance that they
ous cases this can lead to major physical
                                              won’t suffer any negative consequences
and psychological impairments of health
                                              e.g. having to leave their job or move
leading to significant personality change
                                              office etc.
and nervous breakdown. It can also have
a devastating effect on the target(s),        Encourage the member not to isolate
their colleagues, family and friends.         themselves or withdraw. They should
                                              continue to socialise and try as far as
Commonly diagnosed disorders are
                                              possible to lead a normal life.
Depression and Generalized Anxiety
Disorder, Adjustment Disorder and Post        They should seek support from a variety
Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some               of sources and recognise that rather than
psychiatrists have questioned diagnosing      being powerless, the opposite is true.
     The member has a position of power              thing is that they know that someone
     because it is their popularity or ability       will listen to them.
     which has clearly threatened the alleged
                                                     As Tim Field states, targets of bullying
                                                     “often have an overwhelming and at
     Awareness of confidentiality                    times almost uncontrollable desire to tell
                                                     their story. This obsession probably has
     Reassure the member about issues of
                                                     its origins in the heightened sense of
     confidentiality, so they feel properly
                                                     injustice combined with the lack of
     protected. Explain the circumstances in
                                                     recognition and want of opportunity to
     which confidentiality cannot be
                                                     talk to people who understand the
                                                     unimaginable awfulness of what has
     Under Health and Safety legislation             happened.”
     employers have a ‘duty of care’ toward
                                                     The potentially debilitating effects of
                                                     being the target of unacceptable
     In certain scenarios a member may be            behaviour mean that a member may
     making serious allegations which                have difficulty or be unable to find the
     potentially will be affecting their health      words to describe what has happened to
     and that of their colleagues. Whilst they       them. It may take a significant period of
     may not want any action to be taken,            time before the member is able to recall
     the union and employer have a                   and recount a complete and coherent
     responsibility to ensure the matter is          picture of events but with the right help
     properly investigated and dealt with.           and support this time can be significantly
     Care should be taken to explain this to
     members. Whilst confidentiality cannot          INVESTIGATE
     always be upheld, any subsequent action
                                                     The role of a workplace representative
     should be taken with a view to
                                                     can involve conducting some form of
     respecting the member’s wishes as much
                                                     investigation into the issues that a
     as possible. They should also be kept
                                                     member is raising.
     fully informed of developments and
     consulted about action taken.                   The size of an organisation, the resources
                                                     at its disposal, the provisions of any
     The member should be in control of
                                                     Dignity at Work policy and the level of
     events as much as possible. In only the
                                                     organisational commitment toward
     most extreme cases should it be neces-
                                                     effectively challenging and dealing with
     sary to take action against the wishes of
                                                     unacceptable behaviour will all influence
     a member i.e. when their own safety or
                                                     the degree to which a workplace repre-
     that of others is put at risk.
                                                     sentative should and will be involved.
     Awareness of Policy/Procedures
                                                     In an ideal world an organisation would
     If they have not already done so, encour-       commission an external, independent
     age the member to read up on the                and specialist investigator or failing this
     organisation’s policy and to start learning     an internal, trained investigator. This
     about issues of unacceptable behaviour,         increases the objectivity of an
     bullying and harassment e.g. they could         investigation.
     be provided with a copy of this guide.
                                                     In most cases, at least initially, the
     Remember that knowledge equals                  workplace representative has to help the
     power.                                          member gather the evidence and
                                                     investigate the allegations.
                                                     Some members may have already kept a
     Listen carefully to what the member says        diary/journal/log or collated a body of
     and make it clear that you don’t consider       evidence to support their claims. If not
     them to be over-sensitive, that the             encourage them to do so retrospectively
     incident isn’t silly or trivial, and that the   and to discreetly record every future
     union is prepared to help.                      incident.
     You may be the first person that the            The detail of all incidents which have
     member has approached for support and           caused upset should be recounted,
     the first person to have heard their            including date, time, witnesses, how they
     ‘story’. At this stage the most important       felt after each incident and the affect
this had on them and others, both             support the member.
personally and professionally.
                                              They may be willing to offer support in
It is extremely helpful to have a list of     person or prefer to do so in confidence.
unacceptable/negative behaviours to use       They should be asked if they will provide
as a prompt, such as that in Appendix         a written statement.
                                              Quite often several members of staff
It’s not necessarily each incident that is    may be affected at any one time. The
relevant but more the number, regularity      more people experiencing the same type
and especially the patterns that reveal       of conduct and willing to come forward,
potential bullying and harassment.            the less likely any complaint will be
The alleged perpetrator may offer             thought of as a personality clash on the
explanations of individual incidents          part of the member.
but cannot explain away the pattern.
                                              Advise the member to keep any records
                                              in a secure place, preferably away from
The quality of evidence will vary
                                              the workplace. This is to ensure nothing
                                              is ‘lost’, ‘misplaced’ or tampered with.
• hard, factual, documentary evidence
• incidents that have been witnessed          DETAIL THE CASE
• alleged incidents where it will simply      The complaint should be as objective as
  be one persons word against another         possible so that the member cannot be
  (these may be more down to                  accused of making a vexatious, false or
  individual’s perception of events).         malicious allegation.
Even if the evidence appears to be weak       It is important that any evidence is
reassure the member that their                written up in a logical, coherent and
perception of what is happening to            structured manner, as this will greatly
them will be taken seriously and is the       assist anyone connected with advising
overriding concern.                           on the matter or attempting to resolve
                                              the issues.
Advise them to gather as much
corroborating evidence as possible in         Everyone will make their own
writing: emails, text messages, letters,      assessment of the information in front
faxes, memos, reports, documents,             of them. The clearer that is, the more
appraisals, supervision notes etc.            likely that all concerned will reach the
Previous appraisals are important to          same conclusions and agree on the most
check as they can confirm that it is not      appropriate way forward.
the member’s performance which has            The role of the workplace representative
altered. Performance issues can also be       in this process may be to assist the
checked with colleagues.                      member to logically structure their
Make sure that the member has or              information and evidence. In more
obtains a copy of their job description so    extreme instances it may mean that you
they can check if the responsibilities they   have to write a report on the member’s
have been given match it.                     behalf, however, it is important to
                                              ensure that the report is essentially in
When trying to persuade the relevant          the member’s own words.
parties that a member has been subject
to unacceptable behaviour and has             This may well have resource implications
potentially been bullied or harassed, the     which will need to be addressed and
more evidence the better.                     should not be ignored.
Collating such evidence and having to
learn about the issues can also help the      ASSESS AND DISCUSS OPTIONS
member to validate their experience and       Discuss with the member how s/he
therefore assist recovery.                    wishes the case to be pursued.
As well as potentially witnessing             Your role is to help the member to
incidents, colleagues may also have           explore all available options for dealing
been the target of similar treatment and      with the issues they have raised, so that
at some stage it may be appropriate to        they can decide what to do next and
approach them to see if they will             take ownership of that decision.
     Doing nothing is not an option as this will      Only if the member is extremely
     undoubtedly make matters worse and               confident of a positive outcome
     may place the employer in breach of their        should they speak to the alleged
     policy and the duty of care they have            perpetrator alone.
     toward the member and other colleagues.
                                                      It is not an appropriate course of action
     Whenever possible it is always best to ‘nip      when there have been threats or
     issues in the bud’ before they escalate and      threatening behaviour.
     become more serious but any attempt to
                                                      It is also not appropriate when dealing
     resolve the matter should, when
                                                      with someone felt to be a serial bully as
     appropriate, be done in a way that
                                                      they will most likely deny their actions or
     enhances the possibility of retaining the
                                                      ‘play victim’. In addition they are likely to
     basis of a working relationship in the future.
                                                      counter attack, becoming even angrier
     Whatever option is chosen the workplace          and more vindictive toward the member.
     representative should ensure that the
                                                      If a member chooses to talk directly with
     issues are dealt with as quickly as
                                                      the perpetrator alone, or with a work-
     possible by management and that agreed
                                                      place representative/colleague present,
     deadlines and actions are adhered to.
                                                      then ensure that what will be said is
     Remind the member about their rights to          clearly planned beforehand. A suitable
     representation throughout the process.           time and place should be chosen to
                                                      ensure that there will be no interruptions
     TAKING ACTION                                    and confidentiality can be maintained.

     Irrespective of the course of action taken,      If a member intends to have a workplace
     workplace representatives need to be             representative/colleague present then
     careful that the employer does not try to        ensure the alleged perpetrator is advised
     ‘sweep the issue under the carpet’,              of this before the meeting.
     collude with the perpetrator, breach             The member, or the workplace
     confidentiality or unnecessarily delay the       representative/colleague speaking on
     process.                                         their behalf, should clearly describe what
     If there is a genuine commitment to              it was about the behaviour which they
     achieving a positive outcome then the            found upsetting, how it left them feeling
     problems listed above should not arise.          and the impact. They should provide
                                                      examples and be clear about the
     An informal approach is normally                 resolution they are seeking.
     inappropriate when the allegations are
     serious e.g. potential gross misconduct or       When providing examples of the
     if the member feels that it will make            unacceptable behaviours the member
     matters worse.                                   should describe the emotional impact but
                                                      try and avoid being too emotive in their
     Talking to the perpetrator                       language. They should avoid
     Even though this would appear to be an           personalising the behaviours e.g. say
     apparently straightforward and ‘common           “the behaviour was undermining” rather
     sense’ approach it needs very careful            than “you undermined me”.
     consideration as to whether it is appro-         They should not be apologetic or justify
     priate. It can be a very effective means of      how they felt or their right for the
     resolving the issue and is more likely to        behaviour to stop. It is also inappropriate
     be successful when the working relation-         at this meeting to enter into a discussion
     ship is generally positive, the problems         or debate about the behaviour.
     are recent and the perpetrator is felt to
     be open to reflection and compromise.            Such informal meetings should be
                                                      followed up in writing to confirm points
     Sometimes individuals are unaware that           made and agreed action to be taken.
     their behaviour is unwelcome and hurtful         This letter should be copied and retained
     and an informal approach can lead to             as it may be required as evidence at a
     greater understanding and an agreement           later stage.
     that such behaviour is unacceptable.
                                                      Writing a letter
     The benefit of this approach is that issues
     can be resolved quickly and healthy              This is appropriate when talking to the
     working relations can quickly be restored.       perpetrator has not achieved the desired
outcome or a physical meeting is either       the incidents are considered very serious
difficult to arrange or felt to be too        by the target, informal routes have been
distressing for the member.                   unsuccessful/inappropriate or one or
                                              more parties concerned believe the
This approach allows preparation time,
                                              formal process to be the most suitable
enabling the member to be clear about
                                              course of action.
what they want to say and it acts as a
precise record of what has been               Formal methods are not appropriate to
communicated.                                 pursue when in so doing the member is
                                              likely to suffer further extreme distress
The letter should be structured in a
                                              which could have been avoided by
similar way to the advice given above for
                                              pursuing an alternative course of action.
talking to the perpetrator.
                                              The formal method should involve
Copies of all correspondence, including
                                              following the organisations Dignity at
a letter such as this, should always be
                                              Work procedures.
                                              Professional Advice
A member should only write a letter if
they are able to deal with the potential      At some stage, and each case is
responses and are prepared to talk            different, it may be appropriate to seek
about the difficulties directly. It would     professional support from the union.
not be appropriate if it was felt that the    This is normally via the Regional Officer
perpetrator would react in a negative         and may involve the union’s solicitors
manner and target the member further.         (if membership of the union exceeds 6
                                              The legal advice should clarify whether a
This is appropriate when there is a need      member is likely to have a case should
for support in dealing with a problem,        they wish to pursue a legal claim against
there is agreement on the existence of        their employer for potential constructive
an issue and both parties are willing to      / unfair dismissal or a personal injury
work for a win-win solution.                  claim against the employer/perpetrator.
It is not appropriate when one or more        Always encourage a member to await
parties are unwilling to take part in the     the outcome of advice either from the
process, there has been serious bullying      union’s full time officials and / or legal
or harassment or the parties are not will-    department before making any ‘rash’ or
ing to negotiate.                             ‘knee jerk’ decisions e.g. deciding to
A mediator can help to:                       resign.

• Identify what has happened by               Wherever possible members should also
  speaking confidentially to all parties,     be advised to exhaust all internal
                                              processes and procedures for resolving
• assess the best way to bring the            disputes. Failure to do so could severely
  parties together,                           weaken any legal case they may have
• hold a joint meeting,                       had.
• explore the issues and build an agree-      EVALUATE
  ment for future working relationships.      It is important at different stages of a
It is not the mediator’s role to solve the    representation and at the end of a case
problems and mediation will not be            to evaluate the success of the advice
successful if the parties involved dwell      and support offered and if necessary to
on the past and look to apportion             make further representations on behalf
responsibility/blame.                         of the member.
It is recommended that professional           In addition there may well be valuable
mediation should be used since this is a      lessons which should be learnt and
highly skilled area of conflict resolution.   implemented for the benefit of the
A manager acting as ‘go-between’              wider workforce.
would not be appropriate.                     There may well be a number of residual
                                              issues left over which need dealing with
Formal interventions
                                              if any reoccurrence of problems is to be
Formal methods are appropriate when           avoided.
     Programmes of rehabilitation for those         Far too often, targets of bullying and
     involved and counselling may also be           harassment are expected to return to
     appropriate. If the member has been off        work and carry on as if nothing had
     ‘sick’ then a phased return to work may        happened and with no recognition of the
     be helpful and a planning meeting              long lasting and damaging effects.
     should be held to facilitate this and other    Recovery time can be anything from a
     outstanding issues.                            few months to a number of years.
     An important part of the rehabilitation        If the member decides that they wish to
     process is the assurance that everyone         move on then they should also be given
     shares the same expectations of the way        positive assistance to achieve this.
     people will behave toward one another
                                                    Further reviews may be necessary to
     in the future.
                                                    assess the long term outcomes.
     The needs of all involved should be
                                                    Finally, evaluation should focus on
     clearly assessed and regular meetings
                                                    whether the unacceptable behaviour has
     held to ensure all issues are satisfactorily
                                                    stopped and the member and other
     dealt with. This may need to include the
                                                    colleagues are operating in a healthy
     wider staff team that, whilst not directly
                                                    working environment.
     involved, may have witnessed and been
     drawn into events and have a number of         It should be ensured that any agreement
     residual issues that need to be addressed.     is effective.

 10. Representing an Alleged Perpetrator

UNION POLICY                                 If the alleged perpetrator is demonised
                                             they may well become defensive and
The policy of Unite is to oppose
discrimination and harassment of any         enter a state of denial. Care must be
kind and this includes bullying.             taken to adopt an approach that assists
Representatives should make it clear that    them to take ownership of their
Unite does not tolerate bullying and will    behaviour, accept responsibility and want
not defend bullying behaviour by             to change. It is more helpful to refer to
members. The perpetrator should be           their behaviours as negative,
advised to accept counselling, mentoring,    inappropriate or unacceptable, rather
training or other types of assistance to     than personalising their behaviour and
help him/her recognise and change their      labelling them as a ‘bully’ or ‘harasser’.
behaviour.                                   Organisational factors or issues of ill
Unite will, however, provide representa-     health may influence the behaviour of an
tion for members accused of bullying to      alleged perpetrator and should be taken
ensure that due process is followed and,     into consideration and addressed.
in circumstances where both the target
                                             An emotionally mature person will
and the alleged perpetrator are both
                                             genuinely apologise for their behaviour
members, separate representation will be
                                             and take on board any necessary
provided for each party.
                                             learning. Being made aware of and
Workplace representatives should bear in     being able to identify the effect of their
mind that inaccurate/false accusations       behaviour on others is sufficient to make
can be made and on occasion these can        them want to stop or seek help in
be malicious or a form of counter attack.    stopping.
Do not jump to conclusions or presume
guilt.                                       At the other end of the scale is extreme
                                             behaviour where the personality of the
UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR                       perpetrator is such that it is accurate to
OR BULLYING/HARASSMENT                       label them as a serial bully. Such
In determining how best to deal with         individuals tend to be spiteful, vindictive
incidents of unacceptable behaviour it is    and destructive toward their target(s)
necessary to understand what type of         and abuse their position of power for
perpetrator the organisation is dealing      their own gratification.
with and the severity of the behaviour.
                                             A serial bully is arrogant and usually
This will influence how the issues are
                                             believes they will get away with their
resolved in terms of stopping the
behaviour and what action to take with
regard to the perpetrator. This may be       Their capacity to manipulate, deceive and
punitive or rehabilitative or a mixture      deny should never be underestimated.
of both.
                                             That is why they are able to bully
We are all prone to having a ‘bad day at     without being effectively challenged.
the office’ when our own behaviour falls
                                             It is therefore of crucial importance that
well below what we normally aspire to.
Equally some of us may have poor             workplace representatives understand
communication and interpersonal skills       the methods and tactics of a serial bully
which mean that our behaviour toward         or harasser. Failure to do so will
colleagues can also at times be              undoubtedly have a negative outcome
unacceptable.                                for the member(s) involved, the
                                             organisation and others in the future,
Alleged perpetrators can be unaware of       including the perpetrator. It will almost
the impact of their behaviour and            certainly result in an unsatisfactory
actions. To be accused of bullying or        resolution of the issues.
harassment can be a shock. Therefore it’s
important that they are provided with an     Workplace representatives should also
appropriate level of care and support        ensure that management and HR staff
during both informal and formal processes.   understand such methods and tactics.

     In his book, “Bully in Sight”, Tim Field       “It could get nasty”, “I might have to
     suggests that:                                 speak to my solicitor” etc.
     When a serial bully is challenged              Most of the threats are implied rather
     their underlying behaviour pattern is          than real. In most cases the bully has no
     predictable, showing some, if not all,         intention of contacting anyone.
     of the steps outlined below.                   Sometimes however, the bully may
                                                    contact those regarded as potential allies.
     By carefully recording the bully’s
     responses, their actions can be shown to       This approach is also used to imply that
     conform to the pattern of behaviour            the bully has the full support and
     characteristic of a bully and in this way      backing of the colleagues they name.
     they convict themselves through                This may be true and in the event of a
     their own behaviour.                           confrontation these colleagues may
                                                    indeed side with the bully, thus turning
     When dealing with a serial bully, watch
                                                    the threat into a self fulfilling prophecy.
     for this fifteen-step behaviour exhibition:
                                                    It is also possible that the bully does not
     Surprise – This may be the first time the
                                                    have the support of anyone.
     bully has been challenged in this manner
     and the surprise may be genuine. On the        Threats are provocative, anticipating the
     other hand, the bully is so accustomed to      next step. If it is suspected that the bully
     behaving like this that it is more likely to   really has consulted a third person and
     be an instinctive response, “I thought we      made them aware of the ‘facts’, pause
     were friends”.                                 and consider how to approach the situa-
                                                    tion. A sudden reaction, which is what
     Denial – The first outward sign of unwill-
                                                    the bully wants, may be inappropriate or
     ingness to accept responsibility. This is an
                                                    unnecessary and may make the situation
     inborn self-protection mechanism that
                                                    worse. A considered, discreet enquiry at
     most people will resort to when alerted
                                                    a suitable time may be more appropriate.
     to some potential unpleasant consequences
                                                    If a member decides to double check,
     as a result of their actions e.g. “I’m not a
                                                    advise them to stick firmly to the facts.
     bully, it’s not in my nature”. Unfortunately
     it’s part of the human survival instinct       Provocation – This is an attempt to elicit
     and therefore in all of our natures.           a knee jerk reaction. In doing so the bully
                                                    is trying to gain ‘evidence’ that can be
     Projection – The bully now tries to
                                                    used against the target as justification in
     project their own failings on to the other
                                                    portraying the target as untrustworthy,
     person, who under the pressure of threat
                                                    immature, unreliable, etc.
     and intimidation, possibly backed up
     with guilt begins to doubt themselves          Although difficult the target must try to
     e.g. “You have an attitude problem, I          ignore such provocation. This will annoy
     can’t trust you” etc.                          the bully even more and encourage them
                                                    to engage in further inappropriate
     Sympathy – An instinctive response by
                                                    behaviour. The more impeccable the tar-
     which the bully tries to claim sympathy.
                                                    get’s behaviour, the more corroborating
     It’s a form of diversion and precursor to
                                                    behaviour the bully will exhibit. They
     the final stage in the process e.g. “Do
                                                    therefore convict themselves through
     you know how much I’ve suffered?”,
                                                    their own actions.
     “I’m under so much pressure” etc.
                                                    No matter what the provocation, advise
     Alarm – When the target doesn’t back
                                                    the member to try and maintain their
     down or fall for the sympathy trap, the
                                                    self-respect and professionalism.
     bully may become alarmed that the tac-
                                                    Encourage them never to sink to the
     tics are not working and offer to discuss
                                                    bully’s level.
     the concerns ‘openly’ e.g. “We can sort
     this out between us”, “I’m here to help,       Notes of every interaction and everything
     trust me”, “There’s no need for anyone         the bully says, does and threatens should
     else to be involved” etc.                      be made. The motivation behind such
                                                    behaviour is the relevant factor here, not
     Threat – The bully tries to intimidate and
                                                    the content of what the bully says or does.
     frighten the target. The target has
     always succumbed before e.g. “This isn’t       “I know people in high places who will
     doing your reputation any good”, “I’ll         put a stop to your game”, “I don’t see
     have to bring this up with the Director”,      how we can continue to work together if
you continue to behave like this”, “I’m         the bully’s supporters join in with the
reporting this to senior management this        bully and close ranks. By sowing seeds of
afternoon”, “You’re behaving in a childish      confusion and doubt on a regular basis
and immature manner”, “You’re embar-            and involving as many different people as
rassing yourself, me and the company”.          possible the bully may convince the
                                                employer that it is the target who’s at
The last provocative remark contains guilt
                                                fault and should be removed.
and implied threat. It is a weak but often
effective attempt by the bully to align         The target’s record is scoured for any triv-
themselves with both high moral standards       ial mistakes, which are now highlighted.
and the standards of the employer. It can       This diversionary tactic distracts attention
have a strong isolating effect on the target.   away from the behaviours of the bully
                                                and of the bully’s supporters. The give-
Delay – Bullies may put off disciplinary
                                                away is the triviality and irrelevance to
meetings, hearings, appeals, etc. as often
                                                the current situation of the allegations.
as they can get away with it. Dates,
times and places will be changed, often         Sometimes the management position
at short notice, the other party will be        becomes entrenched. Typically the case
informed with the minimum of notice             presented has nothing to do with the
but justified by seemingly plausible            target’s performance, which is probably
excuses. Important and vital documents          on record as ‘above average’. The trig-
will be withheld until just before the          gering event in this type of case is usually
meeting or until just after. Another            the target filing a complaint against a
seemingly plausible excuse and apology          senior manager who is known to have a
is offered. One or two important pieces         history of bullying.
of evidence may be ‘lost’, ‘in the post’,
                                                Counter attack – The bully makes
‘wrongly filed’, ‘between departments’,
                                                counter allegations, either related or
in fact anywhere other than where they
                                                unrelated. The bully states openly their
should be.
                                                belief, in the form of a claim or threat;
Panic – The bully senses a real risk of         that they are the one being bullied or
exposure as it is rare for a target to have     harassed e.g. “You’re being too hard on
got this far down the list. Attempts are        me”. The effectiveness of this last tactic
made to gather support from peers,              can be increased dramatically by
management, subordinates, friends, any-         engaging a ‘friend’ to say it on the bully’s
where. Time to challenge the target and         behalf, especially in front of witnesses,
repeat threats.                                 “Are you sure you’re not over reacting
                                                and being too hard on ‘X’?”.
The bully continues to try and put off
meetings, deadlines etc. and may                In so doing, they are preparing the
unilaterally try to postpone any grievance      ground for the final step in their defence.
procedure, meeting or attempt at arbitra-       Humility – This behaviour will only
tion. In a show of apparent sincerity, the      appear if the bully is acting alone and
bully may repeat their offer to discuss         has no one to turn to and particularly if
openly; “Let’s talk”, “It’s all a big           faced with overwhelming odds or has
misunderstanding”, “It’s a mistake,             been caught red handed. The bully’s only
you’ve got it all wrong”.                       recourse is to surrender in the hope of
Defence – Or rather, attack. A string of        winning sympathy, leniency or mitigation.
counter accusations are made; some will         Suddenly and unexpectedly the bully
be false, some (usually trivial) will be true   offers a full, sincere apology and com-
but most will have a grain of truth in          plete cooperation.
them. The bully picks on any faults and         In the workplace, the tactic is highly
mistakes the target has made, magnifies         effective when used on persons not alert-
them, then portrays them as the norm,           ed or trained to recognise it. The sudden
rather than the exception. The bully’s          change of tack touches the forgiving
objective is to keep the spotlight and the      chord and can induce feelings of doubt,
focus on the target and what s/he has or        “Have I been too hard on this person?”,
hasn’t done.                                    “Have I made an awful mistake?”.
Confusion/Diversion – Leading on from           With serial bullies, this behaviour is a
defence, particularly if the tactic does not    tactic designed to get them out of the
appear to be having the desired effect,         hole they’ve dug for themselves. To the
     alert observer it is also an admission of           potential personality disorder. One means
     the bully’s unwillingness to accept                 of determining this is to focus on the
     responsibility for the consequences of              issue of insight.
     their behaviour.
                                                         Where a perpetrator’s level of insight is
     If this was a genuinely full, sincere               reasonably strong they may initially be
     apology and offer of complete                       angry, upset and look to place some
     cooperation then it would have been                 blame elsewhere. However, on reflection
     expressed at the beginning of the                   they will very quickly step back from this
     process rather than at such a late stage.           position and accept full responsibility for
     All those involved should be alert to this          the consequences of their actions.
     tactic and not view such an apology and             They will display genuine remorse for
     offer of cooperation as a step toward               causing any upset, be willing to offer a
     resolution. Previous patterns of behaviour          full and unconditional apology to the
     will soon reassert themselves. By fooling           target, take on board any recommended
     those involved the bully lives to fight             training or learning and be committed to
     another day and will potentially seek               avoiding causing further offence.
     revenge on the target.
                                                         They will also be able to demonstrate a
     Play victim – As a last resort the bully            high degree of insight into why their
     feigns innocence, swaps into ‘martyr                behaviour was unacceptable and be able to
     mode’ and plays the part of a victim,               empathise with the distress caused to the
     ensuring witnesses are present. Tears are           target. This requires emotional maturity.
     likely to be produced.
                                                         In contrast a serial bully or harasser may
     This unabashed use of guilt has a very              attempt to demonstrate some of these
     high probability of success as it is very           positive behaviours but is unlikely to
     difficult not to feel sympathy for some-            convince an investigator / observer that
     one who portrays themselves as a victim             they have any detailed insight into the
     and subject of persecution e.g. “Why are            consequences of their actions. As such
     you doing this to me?”, “What have I                they betray the fact that, yet again, such
     done to deserve this?”, “What good will             attempts are merely a tactical ploy to
     it do?”, “I’m the one being bullied!”.              evade responsibility.
     This ‘performance’ is highly convincing to          Even when the negative behaviour is less
     onlookers who have not been trained in              extreme an inability to demonstrate
     recognising such bullying tactics. The              insight or empathy should still be of
     bully may even be signed off with                   concern. It suggests that the perpetrator
     sickness, usually ‘stress’.                         is emotionally immature and could
     To counter this behaviour in a disciplinary         present an ongoing risk to colleagues.
     hearing or related meeting draw                     Level of insight is therefore crucial in
     attention to the motivation behind the              determining how to deal with an alleged
     behaviour exhibited, rather than what               perpetrator and assessing the level of
     the bully says or does, the content.                ongoing risk they pose to the target,
     It is useful to refer to this list or one similar   other staff and the organisation.
     and at the appropriate moment summarise             The ‘level of insight’ can be tested in any
     what has been observed. The bully’s own             investigation by questioning the alleged
     behaviour can be used as evidence against           perpetrator. Coaching/leading questions
     them to identify and prove the case.                should be avoided at all costs.
                                                         Relevant questions could include:
     When confronted or challenged about
     bullying or harassing behaviour, the                “B was upset by your behaviour, can you
     perpetrator will potentially display some           explain why he might have felt that way?”
     or all of the tactics described above.
                                                         “C was upset by your behaviour, what
     This does not necessarily mean that they
                                                         do you think she felt?”
     should always be labelled as a serial bully.
                                                         “In behaving in the way you did, what
     It is vital to distinguish between someone
                                                         did you hope to achieve?”
     who is reacting defensively out of shock
     at hearing how their behaviour has                  “What could you do differently in future,
     impacted on staff - and someone with a              in order to avoid any distress?”
 12. Methods of Resolution

In seeking a resolution most members           Personality disordered bullying should not
will simply want the behaviour to stop,        be treated in the same way as other
as should the organisation.                    types of unacceptable behaviour as in
                                               doing so there is the potential for far
The organisation should also ensure that
                                               greater conflict. The system and
they accept responsibility by not
                                               procedures will be used for the
colluding with behaviours that create a
                                               perpetrator’s own ends and they won’t
culture of unacceptable behaviour.
                                               recognise the confusion and mayhem
In reaching a satisfactory resolution any      their behaviour is causing.
intervention should have the aim of
                                               In the most extreme scenarios legal
helping the perpetrator(s) to:
                                               action may be appropriate, which would
• Recognise their behaviour was                be accompanied by internal disciplinary
  inappropriate/unacceptable and take          processes.
                                               For serious cases involving a serial bully/
• Identify any underlying causes for their     harasser the behaviour is likely to
inappropriate/unacceptable behaviour           constitute gross misconduct. In this
and address these.                             scenario disciplinary action will be
                                               appropriate and subsequent dismissal
• Offer a genuine apology for the
                                               from the organisation is highly likely.
  distress caused.
                                               Depending on the seriousness of the
• Learn how to behave in a way that
                                               case, and the level of contrition and
  respects and values the dignity of others.
                                               insight demonstrated, there may be a
There are a number of methods by which         desire to retain the perpetrator but
perpetrators can be helped to examine          organisations should be mindful of the
and reflect on their behaviour and avoid       effect on the target(s) and the message it
any repetition. They should also be made       sends to other staff.
aware of the consequences if they fail to
                                               In some instances the cost of retraining/
do so.
                                               counselling/mentoring and the time
For low level incidents of unacceptable        needed may be too prohibitive for an
behaviour, simply bringing the matter to       organisation to reasonably bear. Dealing
the perpetrator’s attention will suffice.      with a serial bully is extremely
Reference should be made to the                challenging for all involved and ideally
appropriate policies.                          help should be sought from trained
Others options for behaviour regarded as       professionals e.g. psychologist.
less extreme include:                          Even when a member of staff is not
                                               facing dismissal on disciplinary grounds it
Behaviour modification/awareness
                                               still may not be feasible for them to
raising programmes/training
                                               continue in the organisation or return to
Counselling                                    work following suspension or ‘garden
                                               leave’. In such scenarios it may be
Coaching                                       appropriate to use other procedures for
Group work                                     managing the departure e.g. capability/ill
                                               health etc.
Group training
                                               Alternatively it may be appropriate to
Mentoring                                      move the perpetrator to another office/
                                               location and/or suspend/remove their line
                                               management responsibilities. However,
Such interventions may be a                    this is not appropriate as a resolution in
recommendation of a formal or an               itself as it is merely shifting the problem
informal process and may or may not be         without addressing the underlying issues.
imposed alongside a disciplinary sanction.
                                               It is always important to remember
If the perpetrator is felt to be a serial      that every employer has a
bully then the possibility exists that they    responsibility or duty of care to
may have a personality disorder and as         its employees. They should be
such they will be unlikely to positively       reminded of this legal obligation
respond to interventions such as behaviour     when determining how to resolve
modification or awareness raising training.    the issues.
      13. A collective approach

     As a trade union, Unite recognises that             confidential counselling for the target
     the most effective way of dealing with              and witnesses
     unacceptable behaviour is to try and             10. The provision of coaching for the
     prevent it happening in the first place.             perpetrator.
     A key method by which this can be                Formulating a policy
     achieved is to have an effective work-
     place approach to Dignity at Work. This          Policies should be clearly written and
     must involve an accessible, understand-          easy to understand. They should start by
     able and robust policy for dealing with          stating the organisations understanding
     situations when they arise. Any policy           and commitment to Dignity at Work and
     should be developed and implemented              the right of all employees to work in an
     with the consensus of all relevant parties.      environment free from bullying and
                                                      harassment. It should also open with a
     There is a wealth of material available to       statement on the responsibilities and
     assist management and trade unions to            duties of both individuals and the
     formulate effective policies for their organi-   organisation in collectively promoting
     sation. Such material includes ‘model’           dignity and respect and tackling
     policies that can be adapted to suit your        unacceptable behaviour.
     own organisation. In this guide the aim is
     to highlight some of the key features.           It should be stated that all complaints
                                                      will be taken seriously, that confidentiality
                                                      will be respected, and that victimisation
     Formulating an approach
                                                      of those that raise complaints will not be
     To genuinely promote Dignity at Work             tolerated. The policy should also detail the
     and positively deal with targets and             sources of support available to a target.
     perpetrators of bullying and harassment
                                                      The procedure itself should consist of:
     organisations need more than just a
     policy. A live strategy which is constantly      • An informal stage
     being applied across the whole
                                                      • A formal stage
     organisation is required. The strategy
     should include:                                  • An appeal stage.
     1. An audit to analyse the extent of
        bullying/unacceptable behaviour, and          An informal stage
        any specific issues                           Most people just want the bullying to
     2. A policy which promotes positive              stop. An informal route, properly
        behaviours and makes bullying/                managed, can be quick at achieving this.
        unacceptable behaviour a potential            It can enable the case to be aired in full
        disciplinary offence                          and a positive way forward identified,
                                                      including the setting of standards of
     3. Training for line managers who are
                                                      appropriate future behaviour.
        responsible for implementing the policy
                                                      A trade union representative must be
     4. A process whereby all targets and
                                                      able to support the target and the
        witnesses can raise a complaint
                                                      perpetrator and their role is to provide
        without fear of reprisal or victimisation
                                                      guidance, information and assist in
     5. A network of representatives to assist        problem solving.
        employees wishing to raise an issue
                                                      This comprehensive guide can be used to
     6. Clear communication about the                 assist the target to recognise what has
        organisation’s stance on bullying and         happened to them. Other support
        commitment to Dignity at Work,                services can help the target regain their
        informing all staff of their rights and       confidence and self-esteem.
     7. Training on raising awareness and             A formal stage
        developing the skills needed to deal          This route should be pursued when the
        with issues of bullying and harassment        seriousness of the incident is such that
     8. Regular monitoring and review of              only a formal route is appropriate or
        procedures and their effectiveness            when attempts to resolve the situation
                                                      informally have not been successful.
     9. The provision of independent and              Occasionally the target may prefer to use
the formal route to try and resolve the       Communication
                                              An organisation must have a clear
Employees need to understand that all         communication strategy for regularly
complaints raised will be taken seriously     stressing its commitment to Dignity at
and will be properly investigated.            Work. Although it is important for all
It should be noted that quite often           employees to be made aware of any
grievance procedures are inadequate for       policy developments, simply stating an
dealing with issues of potential bullying     organisation’s commitment at the time of
and harassment as they only allow mat-        launch is not enough.
ters to be raised with the employee’s line    Using posters in the workplace, outlining
manager or line manager’s manager. As it
                                              the organisational approach on an
is often these managers that are respon-
                                              intranet site, providing advice to
sible for potential bullying and harassment
                                              employees and putting information into
it is necessary to provide other named
                                              team briefings are some of the ways to
individuals with whom a complaint can
be raised and who have the authority to       ensure that Dignity at Work remains high
commission a proper investigation.            on the agenda.

It is essential that an impartial and,        Training
wherever possible, independent                To ensure that a policy is effective,
investigation is undertaken. An internal      training must take place at all levels in
investigation should be carried out           the organisation, particularly for those
comprehensively and expediently by a          with designated responsibilities in both
trained individual with proper regard for     the informal and formal procedures.
confidentiality. Thorough recording of all    Training should go beyond the technical
the interviews should also take place.
                                              application of a policy. It should also
On some occasions it may be appropriate       examine behaviours and the working
to bring in an external, trained, profes-     environment and culture in which such
sional investigator. There are several        behaviours take place.
organisations that specialise in this area.
The investigation’s recommendations may
lead to disciplinary action, in which case    Finally, the best way of assessing any
procedures must ensure that the target is     strategy’s effectiveness is to regularly
not subject to further unwanted behaviour.    evaluate it. Such an evaluation should
An appeal stage
                                              • Reviewing the policy at regular intervals
If the target is not satisfied with the         by holding meetings with
outcome of the formal stage, they must
                                                representatives and managers
have the option of taking the matter to
an appeal.                                    • Keeping records of complaints made in
                                                the informal system
                                              • Keeping records of the outcomes of
                                                formal investigations and the time
                                                taken to resolve issues
                                              • Reviewing the nature of complaints,
                                                without breaking confidentiality
                                              • Checking exit interviews and
                                                performance appraisals for signs of
                                                bullying and harassment
                                              • Carrying out intermittent audits and
                                              The Beat Bullying in the Workplace report
                                              produced by the Dignity at Work
                                              Partnership examines some of these
                                              issues in more detail.
      14. Organising

     Every trade unionist should look for        Raising awareness
     opportunities to organise around relevant
                                                 Informing employees of the work of
     workplace issues and Dignity at Work is a
                                                 unions in this area will help them to
     classic example.
                                                 understand the added value that we
     Trade unions have made great progress       bring to organisations. It will also help to
     in raising the importance of this issue     demonstrate the invaluable advice and
     and have persuaded many organisations       support we offer members in times of
     to address the many forms of                trouble.
     unacceptable behaviour, such as violence,
                                                 Circulating information
     bullying, harassment and discrimination.
                                                 Circulating leaflets and other materials in
     Trade unions are extremely effective at
                                                 the workplace about this issue is another
     developing good workplace policies and
                                                 means of promoting the message. This
     practices and we provide members with
                                                 should include advising individuals on
     excellent support through our trained
                                                 how to respond when faced with
                                                 unwanted behaviour.
     A high percentage of employees are
                                                 Holding events
     either targeted or witness incidents of
     unacceptable behaviour during their         Holding an event in your workplace,
     working lives. This reality, placed         whether a stand in the foyer or a
     alongside the positive efforts of the       seminar for all employees in the lunch
     union to address the issues, means we       break, is another means of promoting
     have a massive opportunity to organise      the issue and the union through how
     around this key theme.                      it addresses this issue.
                                                 It is important that you have the right
                                                 material to support this work, and Unite
                                                 has produced specific information about
                                                 Dignity at Work – leaflets, posters, and
                                                 other recruitment materials like pens,
                                                 coasters, and so on. As representatives,
                                                 always make sure that you have wider
                                                 information about the union available, as
                                                 well as application forms (although
                                                 people can always join on-line).
                                                 Finally, if you need any support with
                                                 organising in your workplace, then
                                                 contact your Regional Officer who will be
                                                 able to advise how to make the most of
                                                 this opportunity.

 15. Conclusion

Numerous surveys and studies have             and harassment will only take place in
shown and continue to show that what          organisations that allow such behaviour
we commonly refer to as bullying and          to take place.
harassment remains a real and relevant
                                              A starting point is to describe behaviours
issue in all sectors of life, from the
                                              that unreasonably distresses colleagues
playground and classroom, to domestic
                                              as unacceptable. If such behaviours are
life and the workplace.
                                              regarded and understood as
Whilst the law provides some protection       unacceptable/negative/inappropriate by
from discrimination and harassment            us all, the likelihood of them escalating
there is as yet no legislation dealing with   into what we refer to as bullying and
the specific phenomenon of bullying in        harassment will be minimised.
the workplace. Other countries have
                                              It is only in doing so that a common
introduced legislation and it is long
                                              understanding can be developed and
overdue in the U.K.
                                              strategies agreed upon to combat such
Perhaps of more relevance is the failure      behaviour.
to adopt legislation to cover the positive
                                              Having to advise a member can be a
concept of dignity at work. For too long
                                              daunting experience but can also be
now a debate has continued, attempting
                                              extremely rewarding. With appropriate
to define bullying and harassment.
                                              understanding and training the member
Without common agreement it is too
                                              can be assisted in choosing the most
easy for some to label legitimate work
                                              appropriate path for securing a positive
place behaviour as bullying and too easy
                                              outcome. They appreciate and can
for others to label their bullying
                                              identify that your advice is the starting
behaviour as simply being firm or
                                              point in regaining confidence and
This has detracted attention away from
                                              By acting calmly, being willing to learn
promoting positive behaviours and what
                                              and avoiding jumping to conclusions we
should be the real focus of the debate.
                                              can soon become competent in
We have a right to be treated with
                                              recognising what is really going on and
dignity and respect and this human right
                                              influencing the appropriate intervention
should be the primary concern for
                                              on behalf of members.
employers, employees and particularly
the trade union movement.                     Hopefully this guide provides
                                              comprehensive information on how to
Any workplace that is free of bullying
                                              deal effectively with behaviour associated
and harassment should be commended.
                                              with bullying and harassment. It is not a
However, a model employer is far more
                                              subject to be trivialised or ignored and
likely to experience occasional problems
                                              appropriate training should be sought.
but have robust and effective policies
                                              Remember that no advice is better than
and procedures to deal with issues as
                                              bad advice.
and when they arise.
                                              By using this guide and the other
Promoting a culture of zero tolerance is
                                              materials referred to, Unite workplace
not easy and for workplace representa-
                                              representatives and officials can play a
tives such an aspiration can seem unreal-
                                              vital role in supporting members,
istic and naïve. However developing and
                                              supporting each other and working with
promoting an understanding of the
                                              employers to share learning and ensure
benefits for all concerned can help to
                                              that negative and distressing behaviours
persuade employers and employees alike.
                                              are regarded as unacceptable in the
It is crucial to remember that bullying       modern workplace.

     14. Appendix One

     EXPECTED BEHAVIOUR (Taken from                performance and unacceptable behaviour
     The Children’s Society’s Dignity at           will be addressed by professional
     Work Policy)                                  management behaviour which does not
                                                   undermine the dignity of employees.
                                                   This will include the application of the
     Treat colleagues fairly and equally.          capability and disciplinary procedures
                                                   where this is warranted.
     Value differences in others and the
     contribution they make.                       Legitimate management action within
                                                   agreed procedures to deal with staff
     Treat all colleagues with politeness,
                                                   whose ability or behaviour is in question
     courtesy and respect when carrying out
                                                   is not bullying or harassment.
     your work.
                                                   However, if that manager’s behaviour is
     Behave at all times with integrity, honesty
                                                   outside of what is considered “legitimate
     and openness.
                                                   and reasonable management action”
     Be aware of how your behaviour impacts        then such action is likely to be considered
     on others and change it if it is likely to    as bullying or harassment.
     cause offence or has caused offence.
                                                   In order to promote a positive work
     Only put in writing what you would be         environment and encourage dignity in
     prepared to say in person.                    the workplace we expect all managers
     Challenge inappropriate behaviour             to uphold the following broad
     constructively and bring unfair treatment     principles, to:
     you have witnessed or strongly suspect        Reach out by committing ourselves to
     to the attention of relevant managers or      respect all staff and to value their
     other designated staff.                       personal and cultural backgrounds,
     Offer appropriate support to colleagues       regardless of their organisational position.
     where possible, as the lodging of a           Involve and listen by recognising the
     complaint and any associated                  contribution which individuals make to
     investigation can be extremely difficult      good decisions, and take active steps to
     and distressing for both the complainant      secure their participation.
     and the subject of the complaint.
                                                   Overcome injustice by encouraging
     Cooperate with investigations into            fair and just processes within the
     allegations made under this policy and        organisation.
     maintain confidentiality as agreed.
                                                   Recognise and nurture by ensuring
     OUR MANAGEMENT POLICY                         that all staff and volunteers add value to
     We recognise our moral and legal              our work and are developed to achieve
     accountability for the resources entrusted    business outcomes.
     to us, and our management policy must         We expect all managers to adopt a
     be seen to take account of our steward-       style which:
     ship of material resources and of the
     human skills and personal commitment          Leads by example and sets high
     of paid staff, volunteers and supporters.     standards in terms of expected behaviour
                                                   in the workplace.
     We believe that our objectives and the
     nature of the staff we employ indicate        Results in any process of change being as
     the need for a proactive and flexible         positive as possible for all those involved.
     management style, within certain broad        Results in conflicts being contained in a
     principles which are common to the            constructive way.
     whole organisation.
                                                   All managers are expected to:
     We recognise that conflicts of opinion
     and interests arise and that if managed       Behave at all times in an ethical and
     properly they can form a healthy means        morally responsible manner, accepting
     of challenging assumptions, encouraging       responsibility and accountability for their
     progress and generating fresh energy.         own actions.
     Managers have the right to set targets        They must concern themselves with the
     and standards of performance and              performance, progress, employment
     monitor their achievement. Poor               conditions, well being and development
of each member of their team as we see        Clarify roles and tasks of team members,
the care, support and development of          including levels of authority and
staff as an integral part of management.      accountability, and involving staff as fully
                                              as possible in the planning, budgeting
Therefore managers are required to
                                              and monitoring of the tasks in which
manage employees effectively in a fair
                                              they share.
and consistent way and to foster mutual
trust and respect within their team.          Be open to feedback and give
                                              constructive feedback related solely to
                                              genuine performance issues.
This includes a requirement to:
                                              Involve appropriate staff as fully and
Promote a healthy work/life balance, and
                                              openly as possible in reaching a decision,
give fair consideration to requests for
                                              achieving as much participation by staff
flexible working.
                                              as the situation permits.
Ensure that communication is two way,
                                              If it has not been possible to consult then
straightforward and timely and be
                                              to explain to staff the reasons for a
available to staff to discuss their
                                              decision as fully as possible, including the
problems or concerns and to provide
                                              principles and rationale behind any
appropriate support.
                                              proposals and disclosing all relevant
Fully listen to and answer views and          information in an open, honest and
questions, giving the appropriate level of    consistent manner.
detail and explanation. Fully explore all
                                              Actively seek and or develop staff who
reasonable options in a diligent and
                                              excel (even if they are or become more
timely fashion.
                                              knowledgeable and experienced than
Undertake consultation with a view to         yourself).
reaching agreement on any change.
                                              Ensure that the staff they manage have
Take all reasonable steps to assist and       read this policy, follow it and fully
support staff through any process of          understand the expected standards of
change.                                       behaviour within the workplace.

15. Appendix Two

EXAMPLES OF UNACCEPTABLE                      Snide remarks, jibes, name calling, use of
BEHAVIOUR                                     offensive nicknames.
1.Behaviour that offends or insults           Insubordination intended to undermine
Shouting at a target, alone or in front of    the target.
others.                                       Exacting punishments for mistakes.
Criticising, belittling or patronising a      Being ‘two faced’, saying one thing to
target, alone or in front of others.          the target’s face, something else,
Using foul, obscene, malicious or             normally the opposite, to others.
offensive language.
Back stabbing, back biting, sniping, mud
slinging etc.                                 2. Behaviour that intimidates
                                                or threatens
Spreading rumours and gossip.
                                              Threatening violence.
Telling tales to discredit.
                                              Physically attacking a target.
Displaying offensive and insulting
pictures, graffiti, emblems etc.              Pointing and wagging of fingers.
Regular use of sarcasm to demean the          Thumping a table.
target and without consent.                   Stamping of feet.
Libel or slander.                             Jumping up and down.
Inappropriate jokes, banter, comments,        Screaming.
suggestions or aspersions about the target.   Having a temper tantrum.
     Going purple in the face.                      Changing targets/deadlines without
     Intrusion of a target’s personal and           consultation and for no good reason or
     intimate space.                                at short notice.
     Standing over a target.                        Constantly highlighting errors or mistakes.
     Inappropriate touching, caressing,             Withholding of information, permission
     holding, grabbing etc.                         approval consent etc. that the target has
                                                    a reasonable expectation of being given
     Shoving, barging and pushing.
                                                    in order for them to carry out their
     Blocking or barring the way.                   duties.
     Vandalism of a target’s property.              Withholding of support at times of
     Spying, pestering or other inappropriate       necessity.
     intrusive questioning, particularly into the   Denying the target the resources or
     target’s personal or domestic life.            equipment necessary to do the job,
     Making a target the subject of a ‘witch        whilst allowing others the resources and
     hunt’.                                         equipment as and when required.
     Deliberate action outside of work that         Denying training opportunities for a new
     adversely affects the target’s working life.   job so as to keep the target incompetent
     Blaming a target automatically for             and therefore open to criticism.
     anything that goes wrong.                      The removal of status, authority, or tasks
     Encouraging colleagues to spy, snoop,          for which the target was recruited, espe-
     eavesdrop or ‘snitch’ on the target.           cially in an underhand or devious manner.
     Malicious or ambiguous letters sent to the     Removal of any authority which is neces-
     target’s home, partner, family or friends.     sary for the target to carry out their work.
     Anonymous telephone calls to the target        Refusing to assign or delegate work,
     or target’s family, especially at unsocial     then criticising for non completion of the
     hours.                                         same work.
     Ordering of unwanted goods or services         Increasing the target’s responsibilities but
     to the target’s home address with              removing the necessary authority.
     malicious intent.                              Increasing responsibilities without
                                                    informing the target.
     3. Behaviour that isolates or excludes         Deliberate and persistent undermining of
     Excluding the target from anything to do       the target’s professional competence.
     with the running/operation/working/            Setting tasks without timescales and
     management of the project, team, office,       then criticising for not completing the
     department.                                    work ‘on time’.
     Sending a target to ‘Coventry’.                Sabotaging, interfering or impeding per-
     Giving a target the ‘cold shoulder’.           formance for the purpose of later criticism.
     Ignoring a target’s views or opinions.         Preventing the target from progressing
     Talking about a target, in their presence,     by intentionally blocking promotion or
     in the second or third person.                 training opportunities.
     Excluding a target from social activities.     Assessing performance far lower than
                                                    documented achievements merit.
     Limiting communication to memo, e-mail
     or via a third party in lieu of speaking       Assessing performance or appraising
     directly.                                      significantly and adversely at variance
                                                    with previous reports.
     Forcing the target to sit apart from
     colleagues e.g. in a remote corner.            Assessing performance at odds with the
                                                    assessment of the individual,
     Ending conversations when the target
                                                    subordinates, colleagues, peers, former
     enters the room.
                                                    managers, customers, clients etc.
     Whispering about the target in their
                                                    Excessive monitoring of a target’s work.
     presence of behind their back.
                                                    Being coerced into regularly undertaking
                                                    work of a higher grade but without
     4. Behaviour that is directly                  recognition or remuneration.
        work related                                Setting impossible, arbitrary or unclear
     Setting a target up to fail.                   targets re: quality or quantity of work.
Refusing to clarify target’s job description   holiday or sick leave with “urgent” work
/function.                                     or unreasonable demands.
Overburdening the target with work.            Interfering with, intercepting or “losing”
Inappropriate, overbearing or excessive        mail addressed to the target.
supervision.                                   Denial of opportunity for the target to
Removing areas of responsibility without       compete with others on an equal footing.
consultation.                                  Giving the target difficult tasks but
Ordering a target to work below their          colleagues are given ‘nice’ or ‘easy’ ones
level of ability and competence.               in comparison.
Reassigning work unnecessarily or              Misrepresenting a target’s work as their
unexpectedly, perhaps replacing it with        own or taking undeserved credit.
inappropriate or menial tasks.                 Colleagues being appointed/promoted
Imposition of non tasks or work which is       without recourse to the correct
unnecessary.                                   procedures/due consultation.
Claims of misconduct, breach of                Unwarranted copying of critical emails to
discipline etc. but refusal to formalise or    others.
put in writing.                                Unwarranted contact with higher
Misusing power/disciplinary procedures         authority e.g. Chief Executive/Head of
to ensure the target’s removal, dismissal      Personnel, without reference, notice, or
etc.                                           anything in writing, especially in relation
                                               to allegations.
Demotion, real or implied.
                                               The use of innocent third parties to
Making threats of disciplinary action for      fabricate complaints.
trivial or fabricated incidents but refusal
to discipline other staff for severely         Using third parties to carry intimidating
disruptive behaviour.                          messages or carry out unwelcome
                                               actions toward the target.
Holding meetings, the purpose of and
                                               Claiming that there are complaints about
attendance at is significantly at variance
                                               the target but refusing to substantiate or
with what the target has been lead to
                                               confirm in writing, or be specific.
                                               Claiming that third parties agree, concur
Refusal to minute meetings or attempting
                                               or support the perpetrator’s point of
to deny the opportunity to take minutes
                                               view, especially with respect to criticisms
of meetings.
                                               or alleged shortcomings.
Producing minutes that are inaccurate
                                               Criticising the target for doing what
and one-sided.
                                               others do without being criticised.
Meetings, hearings, appeals etc. run
                                               Inconsistent criticism.
more like interrogations.
                                               Criticism that exaggerates, makes
Attempts to deny representation e.g. in
                                               mountains out of molehills.
disciplinary meetings.
                                               Giving unjustified praise to confuse or
Suggesting a target should resign.
Regularly taking advantage of the target’s
                                               Written communication which includes
good nature with regard to work tasks.
                                               bold, red and capital letters or offensive
Refusing to give approval for training         language.
until the very last moment or
                                               Demanding that work be redone or
withdrawing approval at short notice.
                                               repeated, especially when it’s satisfactory
Refusal, without reasonable cause, of          or complete.
reasonable requests for leave, compas-
                                               Refusal to acknowledge performance,
sionate leave, change of hours etc.            achievement, results, worth, value,
Unreasonably delaying approval for the         success etc.
above until the last moment.                   Deliberately undervaluing, downgrading,
Making threats or comments about a             ignoring or minimising the value of the
target’s job security without foundation.      target’s contribution.
The monitoring of telephone                    Frequent changes of mind, reversal of
conversations without consent.                 decisions with little or no notice and
Contacting the target at home, on              without explanation or reason.
     16. Appendix Three

     STRESS RELATED BEHAVIOURS                        quality, skin irritations e.g. athlete’s foot,
     AND EFFECTS                                      dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, rashes,
                                                      shingles, joint and muscle pains, back
                                                      ache, neck ache, migraine, headaches,
     (psychologically abnormal behaviour) –           dulled senses, especially touch, taste and
     anxiety reactions, panic attacks, tearful-       smell, loss of appetite, eating disorders,
     ness, fragility, apathy, increased sense of      disturbed eating patterns, abnormal
     futility/failure/powerlessness, avoidance        thirst, indigestion, unsettled stomach,
     reactions, sense of isolation/withdrawal/        stomach pains, stomach ulcers, irritable
     detachment, concentration problems,              bowel syndrome, flatulence, intolerance
     increased forgetfulness, clumsiness, lack        of certain foodstuffs, unusual allergies,
     of initiative, suicidal thoughts, depressive     urinary infections, unusual hormonal
     mood, negativism, melancholy, gloomi-            changes, thyroid malfunction,
     ness, desperation, mood swings, angry            breathlessness, asthma attacks, lethargy,
     outbursts, loss of humour/ability to feel        fatigue, constant exhaustion, loss of
     enjoyment, resentment, fear reactions,           strength, loss of stamina, disturbed
     hyper-arousal, insecurity, fragility,            sleeping patterns, inability to sleep or get
     vulnerability, insomnia, intrusive thought,      to sleep, nightmares, flashbacks,
     irritability, increased obsessiveness, height-   frequent coughs, colds, flu, sinusitis and
     ened sense of guilt/shame, adoption of           other minor infections, conjunctivitis,
     “victim mentality”, intolerance/disinterest      tired and sore eyes, excessive or
     in others’ feelings/ idiosyncrasies.             compulsive picking, scratching, biting of
                                                      nails, grinding of teeth, anaesthesia,
     Psychosomatic (caused or aggravated
                                                      numbness, pins and needles in hands,
     by mental conflict/stress) – arterial
                                                      feet or lips, poor circulation, cold
     hypertension, cardiac palpitations,
                                                      extremities, intense dislike of cold.
     coronary heart disease, heart attacks,
     angina, sweating, chest pains,                   Other effects can include increased
     tachycardia (abnormally rapid heart              alcohol and drug intake, increased
     beat), anaemia, hair loss, poor skin             smoking and sexual dysfunction.

     17. References

     ACAS Advice Leaflet – “Bullying and              & Cooper, Cary L. (2005)
     harassment at work”,            “Workplace bullying: individual pathology or
     Amicus Guide: Tackling Bullying at Work.         organizational culture?” Chapter 12 in
     Andrea Adams Trust: Factsheet on                 “Workplace Violence: Issues, trends, strategies”.
     Workplace Bullying.                              Equality Commission for Northern Ireland
     Adams, Andrea with Crawford, Neil:               & Labour Relations Agency. Authors:
     “Bullying at Work – How to confront and          Fiona Cassidy, John Krmer, Mark
     overcome it”                                     McAllister, Richard Steele: “Harassment
     Anti Bullying Centre: “Dealing with Bullying     and Bullying in the Workplace”
     at Work”.               Field, Tim: “Bully In Sight – How to Predict,
     Connolly, Dan: VALIDATE acronym.                 Resist, Challenge and Combat Workplace
     CWU Reps Guide: “How to Deal with                Bullying”.
     Harassment”.                                     Field, Tim:
     Dignity at Work Partnership: Various             Labour Research Department: “Defining
     publications - “Beat bullying in the workplace   bullying and harassment”,
     – Report Findings; The Role of Leaders; The      Martin, Brian review: “Insight and advice
     Role of Human Resources; The Role of Trade       about workplace bullying”.
     Unions; The Business case”.                      Rennie Peyton, Pauline: “Dignity at Work:
     Einarsen, Stale; Hoel, Helge Hoel; Zapf,         Eliminate Bullying and Create a Positive
     Dieter & Cooper, Cary L. (2003). “The            Working Environment”.
     concept of bullying at work.” In “Bullying and   Tehrani, Noreen, 2005 C.I.P.D. Guide:
     emotional abuse in the workplace:                “Bullying at Work: Beyond Policies to a
     International perspectives in research and       Culture of Respect”.
     practice.” London/New York: Taylor and           Vartia-Vaananen, Martia: “Workplace
     Francis.                                         bullying – a study on the work environment,
     Einarsen, Stale; Hoel, Helge; Zapf, Dieter       well-being and health”. Academic Disseration
Fergus Roseburgh is the Senior Staff           CONTACT DETAILS:
Representative for Unite at The Children’s     Fergus Roseburgh
Society, a national children’s charity. This   Senior Staff Representative
is a full time post which he has held for      Unite the Union
over 10 years. During that period he has       The Children’s Society
advised and represented a number of            Email:
colleagues who have felt they were   
being bullied or harassed.                     Tel. 0191 2675815 / 07850 801279
For over two years he has been
extensively researching issues concerning
Dignity at Work, bullying and harassment,
an interest borne out of his involvement
in a number of complex internal repre-
sentations and a desire to properly
understand the issues involved. Recently
he attended an international course on
‘bullying and harassment at work’. This
was led by some of the world’s foremost
experts on the subject.
The Children's Society has signed up to
the Dignity at Work Partnership and
Fergus, together with the Unite Chair of
The Children’s Society, Dan Connolly,
have worked in partnership with
management in planning the development
and implementation of a new internal
Dignity at Work Policy. They have also
devised training courses which have been
and will continue to be delivered both
internally and externally. The courses are
aimed at a variety of audiences including
senior executives, managers, staff in
general, volunteer first contacts,
workplace representatives and other
union activists.
Fergus and Dan have both been involved
in the wider work of the Dignity at Work
Partnership in Unite, including being part
of the Employee Representative’s Focus
Group. The Children’s Society has also
been used as a case study in some of the
publications, as an example of ‘model
partnership working’ in combating
workplace bullying and harassment.
More recently, Fergus and Dan have been
supporting representatives across many
organisations to assist them in changing
the culture in their workplace, and they
are now spearheading a Not for Profit
Sector-wide campaign to roll out this
Unite thanks both Fergus Roseburgh and
Dan Connolly for their vision and hard
work in tackling one of the biggest issues
blighting the Not for Profit Sector and
the wider workforce today.
Dignity at Work: Unacceptable Behaviour, Bulllying and Harassment
First printing October 2007
Published by Unite the Union, 35 King Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8JG

For further copies of this booklet, contact:
Unite the Union, Hayes Court, West Common Road, Hayes, Bromley BR2 7AU
Tel 020 8462 7744 Fax 020 8315 8234

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