Working practices have been improved over the years and staff have many more rights than they used to. As a result, employers must follow strict guidelines about the way staff are treated and cannot simply bully staff into doing things they don’t want to. For example, a poorly performing salesperson can’t be singled out and embarrassed in front of others because of their lack of closed sales. As a result of these changes, you might be entitled to compensation for workplace bullying.
We can help if you believe you’ve been the victim of workplace bullying. To start, we’ll review your claim with you on a no-obligation basis. That means you’ll get free legal advice about your options from a specialist advisor. If your claim appears to be suitable, we could ask a solicitor from our team to review it further with you. Should they agree to represent you, they’ll act on a No Win, No Fee basis meaning there won’t be any solicitor’s fees to pay unless you are paid compensation. That should make the process of claiming a lot less stressful.
Interested in starting a workplace bullying claim? If so, call us on 0800 652 1345. Alternatively, please continue reading to learn more about your options.
Defining workplace bullying and harassment
In the past, if you accused your employer or a colleague of bullying, you’d probably be told to go away. However, changes in the law mean any such allegation must be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately. One of the main laws that apply when claiming compensation for workplace bullying is the Equality Act 2010. According to the government, bullying is not illegal but harassment is. This means that any unwanted action that is linked to a range of protected characteristics is not allowed.
As we continue through this article, we’ll look at some examples of bullying and harassment at work that could lead to a compensation claim.
Examples of bullying in the workplace
In this section, we’ve provided a few examples of the types of bullying and harassment that could lead to compensation for workplace bullying. This isn’t a definitive list but bullying claims could be based on:
- Gossip and rumours. If malicious rumours are spread about you that damage your reputation, you could have the grounds to take action.
- Verbal abuse. One form of harassment is where you are shouted at in front of others. Another is if you have to listen to colleagues making jokes about you or where such bullying is used to single you out.
- Undermining or criticising. You should not have to face constant criticism or be undermined by your manager, colleagues or customers. If this is allowed to happen, you might be entitled to compensation for bullying at work.
- Being denied promotion or training opportunities. If you are not allowed to apply for promotion or you don’t receive the same training as other colleagues doing the same role, this could be deemed as workplace harassment if it’s linked to a protected characteristic. For instance, you might be eligible to claim if all of the men in your team were trained in a specific task but you were not trained because you’re a woman.
- Being treated differently. Similarly, you should not be treated any differently from colleagues in similar roles.
You may be entitled to compensation for workplace bullying if any of the above scenarios are linked to the protected characteristics we’ll discuss in the next section.
How the Equality Act 2010 applies to workplace bullying claims
The law is quite clear. You should not suffer any unwanted treatment that is linked to :
- Civil partnership or marriage.
- Religion or beliefs.
- Sexual orientation.
- Gender reassignment.
- Pregnancy or maternity.
If you are singled out because of any of the above, you might have grounds to be compensated. For example, if you are told you can’t apply for a promotion because you are too old, you may be entitled to take action. If you believe you should be compensated, please call and let us review your claim for free.
Sexual harassment at work
Harassment of a sexual nature is another form of workplace harassment that could entitle you to compensation. Any form of unwanted touching, approaches, sexual innuendo and other scenarios could lead to a claim. Please get in touch with an advisor if you’d like us to assess your chances of compensation with you.
How harassment and bullying at work occurs
Acts of harassment and bullying are not always obvious. To be clear, harassment is defined as any act that results in you being in a humiliating, hostile, degrading, offensive or intimidating environment.
Compensation for workplace bullying could be claimed if you’ve suffered because of any of the following forms of harassment:
- Face to face bullying: This is probably the most obvious and most common form of workplace bullying. It may happen in front of others or behind closed doors.
- Online bullying: In recent times, more and more bullying occurs online. Whether personal information about you is posted online or rumours or jokes are spread about you on social media, you might be entitled to begin a workplace bullying claim.
- Written bullying. Unwanted acts linked to a protected characteristic can also be carried out in letters or emails.
- Bullying on the phone. This is similar to face to face bullying but carried out during a phone call. Again, this could be a private call or it could also occur during a conference call.
If you believe you’ve got grounds to claim compensation for workplace bullying, call our team of specialists on 0800 652 1345 to have your case assessed for free.
What to do if you’ve suffered from bullying at work
If you’ve suffered bullying at work, there are some steps that could alleviate the situation or help if you need to take further action. They include:
- Writing down the details of the incident/s. Try to include the dates, times, locations and names of everybody involved.
- Speak to your supervisor or manager about the incident if it is safe to do so.
- Let the perpetrator know how they’ve made you feel. Again, only do this if you feel it is safe to do so.
Whether you’re reporting the incident to your employer or to the person who has bullied you, it may be worth having a witness with you for support. Alternatively, you could raise your concerns by email or in writing so that there is an audit trail of what was said and by who.
If your employer has been made aware of the fact that you’ve been bullied at work and have done nothing about it, you could be entitled to compensation for any suffering that has resulted.
Can I be sacked for raising concerns about workplace bullying?
Whether you decide to claim compensation for workplace bullying or simply raise concerns about it, your employer must not treat you differently as a result. It is illegal for you to be singled out, treated differently, dismissed or disciplined because of your allegations. If action were to be taken against you, you may be able to take action for unfair or constructive dismissal in addition to your bullying claim.
How much compensation for bullying at work can I claim?
If you do decide to claim compensation after being bullied at work, any settlement could be based on:
- Loss of earnings. If the bullying means you lose income because you need time off work or because you leave your job, this could be considered within your claim.
- Mental anguish. Psychological harm could also be claimed for if it was caused as a result of workplace bullying. Claims could be based on any anxiety, embarrassment and distress you’ve suffered.
- Medical expenses. You could also claim back any costs linked to any treatment you had to undergo (or continue to need) because of workplace bullying.
- Travel costs. Similarly, you may incur costs when travelling to meetings about your claim, tribunals or for medical appointments. These costs could be added to the value of your claim.
Each bullying claim is unique and it’s important to review how you’ve suffered in some detail before submitting your claim. If you work with one of our team of solicitors specialising in workplace bullying claims, they’ll work with you to try and understand exactly how the bullying has affected you. Then they’ll try to secure the maximum level of compensation that you might be entitled to.
Providing proof for a workplace bullying compensation claim
Compensation claims for workplace bullying can be complex and you’ll need to provide proof to back up your allegations. If you decide to take action, you could ask a solicitor to represent you. By doing so, they’ll act on your behalf which means you won’t need to discuss the bullying claim directly with your employer.
After reviewing your claim and collecting the necessary proof, your solicitor will contact your employer about the claim. If possible, they’ll try to settle the claim amicably on your behalf. If this cannot be achieved, an employment tribunal might be required. Once a date has been set for a tribunal, your employer can still decide to settle the claim out of court if they wish to do so. In our experience, the majority of cases are settled in this way but some do end up at tribunal courts.
If that happens, the tribunal will assess the evidence presented and decide on whether you’ll be compensated or not and how much should compensation should be paid if necessary.
Please get in touch if you’d like to know more.
No Win, No Fee workplace bullying claims
We believe you’ll have a better chance of being compensated following workplace bullying if you let a specialist solicitor represent you. However, we also realise that many claimants are worried about the cost of hiring a solicitor.
For that reason, the solicitors on our panel offer a No Win, No Fee service for any accepted workplace bullying claim. That means you won’t pay solicitors’ fees if your case is lost and you won’t have to your solicitor upfront either.
A Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) will be used to provide details of what your solicitor will do for you and when you’ll need to pay them. Essentially, you’ll only pay a ‘success fee’ if you are paid compensation.
The success fee covers your solicitor’s work and costs and is deducted automatically from any settlement that’s paid. Within the CFA, you’ll see the success fee percentage so you’ll know about it from the start of your claim. Importantly, when using a CFA, the maximum level of compensation that will be deducted is 25%.
To see whether you could claim on a No Win No Fee basis, please call today.
Start a workplace bullying compensation claim today
If you’re ready to start your claim today, the easiest way to do so is to call us on 0800 652 1345. During your free consultation, an advisor will explain your options and give you free legal advice.
Should your claim be accepted, we’ll appoint a solicitor from our team who’ll work for you on a No Win, No Fee basis.
If you have any further questions about claiming compensation for workplace bullying, please feel free to contact us via live chat or arrange a claim consultation on this page.