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Further Resources

Workplace bullying and harassment information


Bullying and harassment is behaviour that makes someone feel intimidated or offended. Harassment is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010.

Examples of bullying or harassing behaviour include:

  • spreading malicious rumours

  • unfair treatment

  • picking on or regularly undermining someone

  • denying someone’s training or promotion opportunities

Bullying and harassment can happen:

  • face-to-face

  • by letter

  • by email

  • by phone


The law

Bullying itself is not against the law, but harassment is. This is when the unwanted behaviour is related to one of the following:

  • age

  • sex

  • disability

  • gender reassignment

  • marriage and civil partnership

  • pregnancy and maternity

  • race

  • religion or belief

  • sexual orientation


What employees should do if they’re bullied or harassed


Employees should see if they can sort out the problem informally first. If they cannot, they should talk to their:

  • manager

  • human resources (HR) department

  • trade union representative

If this does not work, they can make a formal complaint using their employer’s grievance procedure. If this does not work and they’re still being harassed, they can take legal action at an employment tribunal.

They could also call the Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) helpline for advice:

Acas helpline
Telephone: 0300 123 1100
Textphone: 18001 0300 123 1100
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

Acas has also produced a guidance leaflet on bullying and harassment:

Download ‘Bullying and harassment at work: a guide for employees’ (PDF, 215KB)


Employers’ responsibilities


Employers are responsible for preventing bullying and harassment - they’re liable for any harassment suffered by their employees.

Anti-bullying and harassment policies can help prevent problems. Acas has produced a booklet for employers, including advice on setting up a policy as well as how to recognise, deal with and prevent bullying and harassment:

Download ‘Bullying and harassment at work: a guide for managers and employers’ (PDF, 195KB)

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