Can you claim compensation for bullying at work? If you have experienced harassment, discrimination or bullying in the workplace then please speak to one of our friendly and helpful advisors at Legal Helpline to find out how you may be able to claim compensation for bullying at work you have experienced. We will explain the process to you and as soon as you are ready, we will assist you in filing your claim. Call us today on 0161 696 9685. We look forward to hearing from you. Read on to find out more about making a claim for bullying in the workplace.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Claiming Compensation For Bullying And Harassment
- What Is Bullying In The Workplace?
- What Forms Of Bullying At Work Could You Claim Compensation For?
- Workplace Bullying Statistics – Nearly One In Three Are Bullied At Work
- What Circumstances Can Lead To Me Making A Bullying At Work Claim?
- What If My Employer Fails To Address Bullying In The Workplace?
- What Steps Should You Take If You Are Being Bullied In The Workplace?
- Bullying At Work Case Study
- How To Start A Compensation Claim For Harassment Or Bullying At Work
- What You Can Claim For If Bullied At Work
- How Much Compensation For Bullying In The Workplace
- No Win No Fee Bullying At Work Claims
- Why Choose To Make A Claim With Our Team?
- Speak To Our Team Today
- Helpful Resources
Bullying at work can be both distressing and damaging to your mental health, confidence and self-esteem. What begins as gentle teasing can sometimes progress into a much more serious form of harassment. The good news is however that there are steps you can take to stop the bullying from happening. We will explain later in this guide the best course of action for you to take if you are experiencing bullying at work. Unfortunately employers do not always take these claims seriously or fail to act appropriately to stop the harassment from taking place. If this has been your experience then you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation in order to seek damages for the pain and suffering you have experienced. Please read on to find out more about the forms that bullying can take, some statistics about bullying at work and what you can begin to do to build a case if you have been a victim.
Bullying in the workplace can take a number of different forms from outright rudeness and arguments or even physical confrontation, right through to subtly ignoring somebody and disregarding their contribution to group chats. Criticising somebody inappropriately and unnecessarily or giving them an unmanageable workload can also be construed as bullying. Individuals who are experiencing bullying at work may suffer psychological harm and are likely to be very unhappy and suffering low self-esteem. Bullying can also lead to mental illness including depression. Someone who is experiencing bullying and harassment at work is unlikely to want to attend the workplace or feel motivated to complete their tasks once they are there.
Bullying can occur if a team member is considered to be weaker than others or because the bully feels threatened by the victims competency or strength. Studies show that nearly everybody has experienced some level of bullying in the workplace at some time. However it can be difficult to define or prove. Some people are more at risk than others. Women seem to experience a higher level of bullying than men and it would appear to be targeted more readily at victims over the age of 40. Workplace bullying is not necessarily restricted to teammates and a large percentage of complaints are made against people in managerial positions.
The term bullying encompasses a number of different types of harassment at work which are covered by the Equity Act of 2010. Examples of bullying which may be covered by this legislation include the following:
- Harming career progression. Removing the opportunity for promotion or the possibility of training to enhance skills. Although hard to prove this is still counted as a form of bullying, albeit in a passive way. There is no attempt to cause active harm but seek to reduce the opportunities that the employee has access to in the workplace.
- Ongoing criticism. If an employee is working to a satisfactory standard but still faces criticism and is undermined by managers or coworkers then this can be construed as harassment as there is no true basis for the criticism.
- Offensive statements and humiliation. Making jokes at somebody else’s expense can be very hurtful, as can the use of offensive words. This is a very recognisable form of bullying at work whereby somebody is made fun off on a regular basis. Without doubt this could be proved to be harassment.
- Unequal treatment. Everybody has a right to be treated equally at work. If a member of staff feels as though they are being singled out for unfair treatment and are experiencing different treatment to the other people around them then they may be able to claim compensation for workplace bullying due to discrimination at work.
- Malicious rumours and gossip. It is not uncommon for rumours and gossip to circulate in the workplace environment. If the rumours are spread with malice and this does damage to a person’s reputation then this can be considered harassment at work.
Harassment does not always need to take place on a face-to-face basis in order for you to seek bullying at work compensation. Bullying at work can also occur online, on paper via the written word or on the telephone. Claims for bullying are usually made when the harassment takes place on an ongoing basis but please be aware that you may still be able to raise personal injury claims for isolated incidents.
There are numerous ways in which you can experience bullying at work, the possibilities are almost endless. There are many forms of bullying for which you can seek to make a personal injury claim. Whilst some will be harder to prove than others, the law is very clear about some forms of harassment which can never be tolerated. Here are some examples:
- Where a person is bullied or treated unequally due to their sexual orientation.
- Where a person is bullied or treated unequally due to the beliefs that they have or religion that they follow.
- Where a person is bullied or treated unequally as a result of their skin colour, race or place of birth.
- Where a person is bullied or treated unequally as a result of their gender. This not only affects men and women but also covers individuals who have undergone gender reassignment or who identify as cross-gender.
- Where a person is bullied or treated unequally due to a mental or physical disability.
- Where there is discrimination due to age, be that young or old.
The workplace bullying statistics are rather frightening as almost one in 3 people (29%) state that they have experienced bullying at work. If you are one of these individuals then please be aware that you may be entitled to claim compensation for workplace bullying. It isn’t something that you are required to tolerate or ignore, you are fully within your rights to take action against the perpetrator.
The bullying statistics perhaps show an increase in the incidents of harassment due to the ease with which bullying can occur thanks to ever increasing use of technology. Communication is easier and instantaneous and an increasing number of people are experiencing online bullying. This is particularly true of young people. In 2015 around 1.5 million young people under 21 had been bullied at work. 19% of those people experienced harassment on a daily basis. More women than men claim that they have been bullied at work with 57% of women saying they have experienced bullying. The figures are even higher for transgender individuals, 59% state that they have been harassed at work. Sadly, 72% of bullying cases are carried out by somebody in a managerial position.
Of the people that have experienced bullying and unreasonable behaviour in the workplace, 44% go on to suffer depression, 41% experience anxiety and a third of people who have been bullied claim to have had thoughts of suicide which have been directly attributable to the bullying. 1 in 5 people have taken time off work as a result of bullying and nearly half of them say it it affects their performance negatively whilst they are at work.
It is not straightforward to make a claim for harassment and bullying therefore we strongly suggest you find a personal injury solicitor to help you. It can be tricky to find ways in which to make your employer liable to pay compensation. In order to fit the criteria you need to be able to prove the following:
- The bullying at work must be proved to be a direct consequence of doing your job. If the bullying occurs outside of work or is instigated by a person who was simply met through work then you may not be able to claim directly from your employer.
- You must prove that the bullying could not be avoided and was linked directly with your role or the project that was being done.
- There must be a clear link between the bullying at work and the mental health problem suffered as a result.
This is only relevant if you intend to make a claim against your employer. If you are trying to claim against another individual in the workplace then these rules do not necessarily apply.
Case law indicates that employers who fail to address bullying will be susceptible to employee claims of compensation. The Court of Appeal ruled that employers would be liable under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 if workers were exposed to harassment at work, assuming that there had been more than one incident and the person at fault was aware of the potential harm caused by their actions. The courts decided that the duty of care owed by an employer covers the employee’s mental well-being. Employers are also required to protect employees under equality and discrimination legislation. This can include cases of bullying based on sex, race, religion, disability or sexual orientation.
It can be really tricky for you to decide whether you are faced with a serious case of bullying or an incident of gentle teasing. If it feels harmless to you and causes you no distress then you may be able to ignore it. However if the problem becomes increasingly more regular and more severe then it may begin to have an impact upon your mental well-being.
If you decide to make a claim against your employer or an individual for bullying at work compensation then you need to ensure that the incidences of bullying are well recorded. Write down an account of when the bullying or harassment began and then keep a diary detailing specific examples of the harassment and as much additional information as you can remember. If the bullying has been taking place over a long period of time it may be difficult to remember details but the more information you can gather, the more this will help your case.
Depending on the size of your organisation there may be somebody else you can speak to. Assuming that management are not involved in a bullying then the first port of call is usually your manager or supervisor. Failing that you could try a trade union official or somebody in the human resources department. If the problem is not able to be resolved in an informal way then it is advisable to put forward a more formal complaint using your organisation’s grievance procedure.
Witnesses can also be very helpful in proving your case. We would advise that you let a personal injury lawyer contact the witnesses, as speaking to them directly yourself could make the bullying worse if the bully were to find out. If you have suffered any kind of mental illness as a result of the bullying, such as anxiety or depression then see your GP and ensure that your symptoms and any medication you have been prescribed are recorded in your records. Your solicitor will be able to use this to build a strong case on your behalf.
In order to reassure you that making a compensation claim for bullying at work can be worthwhile we would like to share a case study with you:
In a particularly serious case of workplace bullying, a 39 year old lady was awarded £682,325 to compensate her for depression and ultimately a psychotic breakdown which was caused following a long period of workplace bullying. This woman worked in the administration department of the ambulance service and was regularly insulted by her colleagues and line managers. It was suggested that she was a woman inappropriately working in what was described as a “man’s world”. She was then signed off work with depression. On returning to work the lady was given a new job and a new line manager but she continued to suffer verbal abuse from management.
This lady was once again signed off from work by her GP with depression, hallucinations and delusions and was subsequently referred to a crisis team. Following her return to work after she had recovered from this psychotic episode she was then made redundant. She successfully claimed for disability discrimination and unfair dismissal. It was decided that her employer had failed in their duty of care to protect her from psychological injury. The judge agreed that bullying and harassment had taken place and she was not supported by her employer.
If after reading this guide it becomes clear that you have been the victim of bullying or harassment at work and you wish to make a claim, then we strongly suggest you get in touch with us. We can provide a personal injury lawyer who can advise you and begin to build a case on your behalf. At Legal Helpline we offer an initial consultation for free, during which we will gather details about your claim and ask you further questions. If the solicitor thinks you have a strong chance of winning your case then they will be able to offer you a no win, no fee agreement. This means you will not be required to pay any fees upfront before commencing your claim.
If you have experienced bullying at work and you have successfully made a claim within the personal injury claims time limit then you may be able to receive compensation for the following types of damages:
- General damages. General damages covers any pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of the bullying. In the case of bullying this is likely to include any psychological damage you have suffered. This can include being unable to cope with the daily tasks in your life, being unable to attend work and seeing a detrimental impact on your relationship with family and friends. You may also have experienced increased feelings of vulnerability and low self-esteem. You may even have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety.
- Medical expenses. If you have been subject to any out-of-pocket medical expenses as a result of the bullying then you can claim these back, assuming you keep all records and receipts. This may include counselling sessions or other types of therapy to help you recover from your symptoms.
- Travel expenses. If you have been required to pay any travel expenses which are directly related to your bullying at work claim then you may be able to claim these back also. This can include travel to and from medical appointments.
- Loss of earnings. If you were unable to attend work or had to give up your job as a result of the bullying at work then you can claim loss of earnings. You may either be entitled to a straightforward loss of earnings for the days or weeks that you were unable to attend, or in more serious cases you may be able to claim loss of future earnings if your potential for progressing in your career has been damaged as a result of the bullying.
- Care costs. If you became so ill that you were unable to complete basic tasks around the house and required another individual to come and care for you then you may be able to claim care costs as a result.
If you have decided that you are likely to be eligible to claim compensation for bullying at work then you may seek to find a personal injury claims calculator to discover how much you are entitled to receive in damages. However compensation for workplace bullying is not always straightforward and it will depend on the symptoms that you have experienced following the bullying and the duration of the disability that it caused. This table gives you a rough idea about the compensation you may be able to expect, however this is no substitute for speaking to a personal injury lawyer who will be able to advise you on the specific details of your case.
|Type of Injury||Details||Compensation|
|Severe psychiatric damage||A severely impaired ability for an individual to cope with life, a detrimental impact on relationships with family and friends, a significant impact on the individual's vulnerability and a poor prognosis for recovery.||£48,080 to £101,470|
|Moderately severe psychiatric damage||A significant impact on an individual's ability to live their life, a detrimental impact on their relationship with family and friends and the presence of feelings of vulnerability. However in moderately severe psychiatric injury there is a better prognosis for recovery.||£16,720 to £48,080|
|Moderate psychiatric damage||Although the individual has suffered an inability to cope with the normal stresses of life and has experienced a detrimental impact on their relationship with family and friends, by the time of the trial there has been a marked improvement and the prognosis for recovery is good.||£5,130 to £16,720|
|Less severe psychiatric injury||The amount of compensation for less severe psychiatric damage will depend on the length of time that the injury was suffered and the extent to which daily life was affected.||£1,350 to £5,130|
Here at Legal Helpline we are dedicated to ensuring that you win your case and receive maximum compensation. We understand that when you decide to file a compensation claim, the financial impact can be worrying. That is why Legal Helpline’s provided lawyers offer a no win, no fee service. This means that you won’t be asked to pay any money upfront. If you are successful in your case, which we are sure you will be, then the legal fee will be taken from the final payout. At no point in the process will you be left out of pocket. It is important to us that the process of claiming compensation is as stress-free as possible for our clients and we believe that by offering this no win, no fee service we can achieve that.
Making claims for bullying at work compensation with Legal Helpline will not cost you any upfront fees and will not cost you anything if we don’t win your bullying claim. No Win No Fee is a way of claiming compensation that has been available to victims of personal injury for several years and can help process a claim without the claimant having to find money to fund it. Here at Legal Helpline, we are able to assure you that our solicitors we provide to you work entirely on this basis, and that means you only pay a legal fee when your bullying claim has successfully resulted in a compensation payout. We are always very happy to explain more about No Win No Fee and how our agreement works to you over the phone, and can walk you through all of the various details so that you are completely clear on how this type of agreement works.
Legal Helpline have over 30 years experience in dealing with personal injury claims. We have an excellent reputation in the field and regularly receive positive feedback from our clients. Our success rate is second to none and we go the extra mile by putting customers at the heart or our service. We are always available to take your call and look forward to hearing from you. We can then out you in touch with one of our panel of brilliant personal injury solicitors.
Once you have decided that you would like to make a claim, we will be very happy to help you. As one of the leading solicitors in the field of personal injury, you can feel confident that you have made an excellent choice by contacting Legal Helpline. One of the highly experienced and helpful members of our team are on hand to help with your queries, large or small. Call today on 0161 696 9685.
Our Homepage with useful links – We work hard to make sure that we provide useful advice and our website contains a huge amount of information. From the home page you should easily be able to navigate to the page you need.
Assault at work – Making a claim – If you have been assaulted at work, then this should provide some pertinent information.
Bullying – Some advice on bullying at work
Mental health and bullying – NHS resources on mental health and workplace bullying might also be of use.