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Bullying in the Workplace

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Definition of Bullying

The Code of Practice on workplace bullying defines bullying as repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity at work.

An isolated incident of the behaviour described in this definition may be an affront to dignity at work but as a once off incident is not considered to be bullying.

Examples of What Constitutes Bullying at Work

Types of behaviour that may constitute workplace bullying can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Repeated inappropriate reprimand of an Employee, e.g. shouting at an Employee about their poor performance in an open plan office
  • Repeated exclusion of an Employee from work related discussions
  • Repeated unfair allocation of tasks or experience
  • Repeated gossiping about a colleague, spreading innuendo or rumour about a colleague
  • Repeated violent or intimidating behaviour
It is important to note that reasonable and essential discipline arising from the good management of an Employee’s performance, conduct or attendance are not considered to be acts of bullying in the workplace. Actions which may be justified on health and safety grounds will also not be considered to be bullying.