Issue date
16 Nov 2015

date: Thursday 12 November 2015

embargo: 00.01hrs Monday 16 November 2015

Nearly a third of people are bullied at work, says TUC

Research published by the TUC today (Monday) shows that nearly a third of people have been bullied at work.

The poll – carried out by YouGov for the TUC and released today to coincide with Anti-Bullying Week – reveals:

  • nearly a third of people (29%) have been bullied at work
  • women (34%) are more likely to be victims of bullying than men (23%)
  • the highest prevalence of workplace bullying is among 40 to 59-year-olds, where 34% of people are affected
  • in nearly three-quarters (72%) of cases the bullying is carried out by a manager
  • more than one in three (36%) people who report being bullied at work leave their job because of it.

Looking at the effects of workplace bullying, nearly half (46%) of people say that it has an adverse impact on their performance at work, and the same proportion believe it has a negative effect on their mental health. More than a quarter (28%) say it has a detrimental effect on them physically, and around one in five (22%) have to take time off work as a result of being bullied.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “There is no place for bullies in the modern workplace.

“Bullying causes stress and anxiety and can have long-term effects on victims’ physical and mental health. No one should have to leave their job because of bullying.

“If bullies are allowed to dominate a workplace, wider office morale and productivity suffers too. Employers must have a zero-tolerance policy. Too many are simply ignoring bullying behaviour and failing to support staff.

“Union reps play a crucial role in stopping bullying. We need strong unions in the workplace to combat unacceptable behaviour and protect workers.

“Anyone worried about bullying at work should join a union, to get their voice heard and their interests represented.”

The TUC has published new advice today on what to do if you feel you are being bullied at work. The guidance suggests that you:

  • talk to someone and get some support
  • keep a diary of the bullying
  • if you can, tell the bully that you find their behaviour unacceptable and ask them to stop
  • tell your manager (or more senior manager) and show your evidence
  • join a union, so you’re better protected at work
  • always take a union rep or a friend with you to any meetings about a formal complaint.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,738 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25 and 26 October 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

- The new TUC guidance about bullying is available at www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/bullying/bullied-work-dont-suffer-silence

- The new TUC guidance for union reps is available at www.tuc.org.uk/workplace-issues/health-and-safety/bullying/bullying-work-guidance-safety-representatives

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @The_TUC and follow the TUC press team @tucnews