What can I do if I am being bullied at work?

It depends on who is bullying you. If it is another employee, you should first raise the matter with your immediate line manager or supervisor, or the next level of management if the offender is your own line manager.

If your complaint is not addressed and the bullying continues, you should raise it formally through the grievance procedure or other procedure designed to deal with bullying and harassment at your workplace. Remember, bullying is a form of misconduct and a disciplinary issue.

You have a statutory right to be accompanied by a work colleague or trade union official to the hearing of your grievance.

Bullying is a form of harassment. Your employer has a duty of care – including a responsibility for your health, safety and welfare at work – and is liable for the actions of other employees taken during the course of employment.

Sometimes bullying at work has a clear collective dimension, affecting not just you but your colleagues too. Examples might include abusive manipulation of people’s contracts – for example, forcing you to accept worse terms and conditions or difficult shift patterns, or bullying to deter you from engaging in trade union activities, or so that you feel you have to come into work when sick.

Tackling these sorts of issues collectively is usually more effective – and certainly less isolating – than trying to manage on your own. If you are a trade union member, speak to your rep about the best way of organising to try to improve the situation.

If you are not a trade union member, browse our Union Finder tool for advice on how to join and on the most suitable union for you.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.