Workplace Bullying - Part 2 

So what do you do if you are being bullied

Gather information

 

You will need to compile some details to help you present a case of workplace harassment when you decide to file a complaint with either your employer or an outside organisation like the Coromandel Workers Council. These details are important, and should be true and as accurate as possible. This information will allow the party receiving the information to determine whether or not there is a case for workplace harassment and what steps need to be taken to end further harassment and resolve the issues that have been caused by the harassment being reported. The information that you should consider recording is:

 

  • The date, time and where it occurred

  • What occurred during the incident ( the people present, what was said and by who)

  • A list of witnesses if there were any

  • How the incident made you feel.

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source: unsplash

Gather information

 

You will need to compile some details to help you present a case of workplace harassment when you decide to file a complaint with either your employer or an outside organisation like the Coromandel Workers Council. These details are important, and should be true and as accurate as possible. This information will allow the party receiving the information to determine whether or not there is a case for workplace harassment and what steps need to be taken to end further harassment and resolve the issues that have been caused by the harassment being reported. The information that you should consider recording is:

 

  • The date, time and where it occurred

  • What occurred during the incident (the people present, what was said and by who)

  • A list of witnesses if there were any

  • How the incident made you feel

Take action

 

In these situations you will have a number of options such as:

 

Seek advice

Seek advice to ensure that what you are experiencing is in fact bullying. This can be sought from a manager, co-worker, health and safety representative, your union, your local Community Law or Citizens Advice Bureau. It’s your right to have a support person present at any of these meetings.

 

These days most companies will have a human resources department that is there to take an unbiased approach to dealing with these kinds of situations. As above you are permitted to have a support person present in all of your encounters with them.

 

Report the behaviour

 

It is important that you report any harassment or bullying to the business or undertaking that employs you. From here they will need to determine the best course of action based on the complaint and the seriousness of the issues you are bringing to their attention.

 

The business should already have in place a process for how to deal with reports of bullying and harassment. This could involve a formal investigation if the harassment has occurred over a long period of time and involved senior staff or multiple workers. They may also opt to take a different approach which is less formal.

 

Make a formal written complaint

 

As already mentioned, your place of work should have a system of processes in place to deal with any formal complaint that they are presented with. A formal complaint should always trigger a formal investigation.

 

It is important that you have an understanding of the process to ensure that your formally written complaint is formatted correctly and sent to the right person within the company. The written complaint needs to contain specific allegations, dates, times, and the names of any witnesses if there were any.

 

Deal with it yourself

 

Lastly if you feel comfortable approaching the party or parties doing the bullying to discuss your concerns then do, but only if you feel okay doing that.

 

Mediation

 

During or after an investigation has been launched both you and the person or people who are accused of bullying can request and take part in mediation. Mediation services, like those provided by the Coromandel Workers Council, involve a trained and impartial mediator facilitating a discussion on to reach an agreement or a way forward. Mediation can create a safe and constructive environment where everyone is able to speak and be heard. Any concerns about such an arrangement should be discussed prior.

 

What happens after the complaint is submitted

 

Once a business has received a complaint from you they need to ensure that your working environment is safe and free from reprisals. This means that both you and the person who has been reported are supported appropriately.

 

The seriousness of the complaint will determine the measures that the business will need to undertake to ensure your safety and wellbeing during the course of the investigation. This may include taking actions like a suspension of work or reassignment of duties for the subject of the complaint.

 

Guidance of how your interactions with the subject of the complaint should also be outlined if day-to-day contact is unavoidable.

 

What occurs in an investigation

 

To ensure that the outcome of any investigation is fair it will need to be carried out by independent and unbiased investigators. They will be interviewing all of the parties involved in the complaint and any witnesses that you mention and go over any documents that are relevant to the complaint. This will help them to compile a report on their findings and recommend solutions to the business. The subject of the complaint should also be given a reasonable opportunity to respond to the allegations or concerns.