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Bullying at work compensation

Everybody has the right to feel happy while they’re at work, so it can be tough to deal with belittling, intimidating or threatening behaviour from your co-workers. If you have experienced bullying at work, don’t suffer in silence, you could be eligible to claim compensation.

Making a bullying at work compensation claim

It’s easy to pass off bullying as just ‘one of those things’, and either live with it or change jobs. But if you’ve suffered from physical or psychological abuse, then you have every right to make a compensation claim.

Not only can bullying affect your job and career progression, it can also have an impact on your happiness and wellbeing outside of work. In serious cases, workplace bullying can even cause conditions like depression or anxiety. Or, if the abuse was physical, then it may take you some time to recover from your injuries.

You can speak to a legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438. They’ll never pressure you into starting a compensation claim, so if you’re just looking for advice and answers to your questions, they can help you.

An employer’s legal responsibility to employees

Employers have a duty of care for their employees. Duty of care is a legal obligation that requires employers to take reasonable steps to protect their people from harm.

Employers are responsible for providing safe working environments for their employees and keeping them informed about health and safety legislation within this environment (Health & Safety Executive).

This can mean providing adequate training, for example, or ensuring equipment is handled with care while being used, or preventing bullying at work. The person with a duty of care will be liable if they fail in these duties and you suffer as a result.

For example, if you slip on ice outside your workplace and break your arm, then your employer could potentially be held responsible for failing in their duty of care by not clearing up the ice properly before it caused an accident. Or if your employer fails to step up and prevent workplace bullying and you suffer mentally or physically as a result.

What are the consequences of workplace bullying?

Bullying in the workplace can cause mental health problems such as stress, depression, social anxiety, even suicidal thoughts. These conditions don’t just affect you, they impact your family and your overall quality of life.

Workplace bullying has been linked to an increased risk of suicide in some cases, although this type of psychological harm is hard to prove definitively because there may be other factors involved (such as financial problems or family troubles).

However, there’s evidence that suggests workplace bullying leads directly to other kinds of harm such as:

  • Physical injury due to poor health care practices at work
  • Mental anguish and lack of self confidence
  • Lower incomes for individuals who have been made redundant after being bullied out by their employers
  • Decreased personal relationships due to damaged interpersonal skills caused by psychological trauma from being harassed at work continuously over time
  • Career prospects being harmed due to the negative impact on an applicant’s CV after leaving an abusive workplace

In essence, if your employer fails to address bullying in the workplace, and you suffer as a result, you could be eligible to make a bullying at work compensation claim.

To find out more about making a bullying or harassment claim, speak to a specialist legal advisor today on 0800 234 6438, or fill out the form and request a call back.

What counts as workplace bullying?

Workplace bullying is a form of workplace harassment, with the definition being:

“Repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators.

By this definition, bullying can be either physical, verbal or psychological. However, it is most commonly defined as repeated and unprovoked acts of aggression directed at an individual or group.

If you have experienced any of these types of behaviour from your manager or colleagues then this may potentially be considered bullying by the courts – if you make a complaint that they were responsible for it happening to you on a regular basis over time.

There are a lot of different types of workplace bullying – many of which are set out in the Equality Act 2010, which protects people from discrimination at work.

Bullying can be based on age, race, gender or sexuality, and can happen in person, over the phone, or by email or text. If you’ve been repeatedly made to feel belittled or threatened at work, then it’s likely you’ve experienced some form of workplace bullying.

Examples of bullying at work

We’ve listed some common examples of bullying at work below:

  • Being blamed for mistakes which were made by other people
  • Gossiping or spreading rumours about a colleague
  • Acting aggressively towards a colleague
  • Being repeatedly threatened with losing your job
  • Feeling excluded from team activities or emails
  • Receiving constant criticism
  • Being humiliated in front of your colleagues or customers e.g. for sexual orientation
  • Being abused verbally or physically by a customer, supplier, or even a member of the public

In any case, your employer should put a stop to bullying if you’ve told them about it.

Find out about making a claim for assault

Difference between workplace bullying and violence at work

The terms “bullying” and “violence” are often used interchangeably, but there are differences between them.

Workplace bullying is often more subtle than violence, but it can be just as damaging. Bullying is a repeated pattern of abusive behaviour, including verbal abuse, intimidation and harassment (including sexual harassment).

It tends to be non-physical, psychological harassment and verbal abuse. It’s manipulative and emotionally harmful.

Bullying may be directed toward an individual or a group. The perpetrator (the person who bullies) has more power than the target (the person who gets bullied). Bullying can happen face-to-face, online bullying can occur through email, text messages, or social media posts.

Workplace violence is the opposite. Violence at work involves an explosive outburst in which one person physically attacks another with the intent to harm them in their workplace environment. This is physical abuse that leaves physical injuries. You can have one without the other, or you can have both.

What can I do if I’ve been physically assaulted at work?

HSE reports there were approximately 694,000 incidents of violence in the workplace in 2018.

  • 364,000 of these were threats of violence
  • 330,000 were physical assaults

If you’ve been physically assaulted at work, by a colleague, customer, or your boss, here’s what you need to do: you need to report it to your employer and the police.

Firstly, your employer has a duty of care to investigate the incident and take appropriate disciplinary steps.

Secondly, physical assault is a criminal offence, meaning the police will investigate and if there are grounds to prosecute, they will recommend criminal prosecution against your attacker.

If you don’t have a criminal record and your physical injury was serious enough, you may be eligible to claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), a body that compensates victims of violent crime in England, Scotland and Wales.

You could also lodge a civil claim against your attacker.

If you’ve suffered psychological harm or physical injury as a result of workplace bullying, you could be eligible to make a compensation claim on a no win no fee basis. Call 0800 234 6438 today and speak to bullying at work compensation claim specialists.

What can I do if I’ve been bullied at work?

It can be difficult to know what to do if you’ve been bullied or harassed at work – it can sometimes seem like the easiest option is to just try to ignore it.

But there are actions you can take to put a stop to harassment at work, and to get the support you need to deal with the effect it’s had on your life.

Firstly, it’s important to report any bullying to your manager or employer. They should then deal with the problem and those involved to avoid it from happening again. However, if they fail to do so then you may need to make a formal complaint.

Unfortunately, talking to senior members of staff and making a complaint doesn’t always work. If you’re still being treated unfairly, then consider making a compensation claim.

Harassment claims can get you the money and support you need to get your life back on track, it can also help to make sure your employer takes action to avoid your colleagues experiencing the same problem.

You could also make a claim against your employer under what’s known as ‘vicarious employers’ liability’. This means rather than your employer being liable for things they did or didn’t do to protect you, they are liable for the acts of other employees, as long as the bullying at work happened during the course of your work.

You might consider applying for an Employment Tribunal, or, if the bullying is severe, involve the police.

Making a claim against an employer

How compensation can help

Many people are put off making a claim for workplace harassment because they think it’ll be more hassle than it’s worth. But specialist solicitors aim to make the claims process as simple and stress-free as possible, so you won’t have to worry about dealing with legal jargon or complicated paperwork.

After speaking to a legal adviser on 0800 234 6438, they’ll be able to let you know whether they think you can make a successful case, and will be happy to pass you on to the right specialist solicitor for your claim.

How much compensation could I get?

Your solicitor will take all the impacts of the bullying into consideration when working out the amount of compensation you should receive.

This means your settlement will include all the following and more:

  • Any mental or psychological impacts, such as anxiety, depression, or fear
  • Any injuries you’ve suffered as a result of physical assault
  • Your lost earnings from taking time off work
  • Hobbies or social events you’ve missed out on because of the effect the bullying has had on you

If you’re still feeling unsure, you can find out more about what’s involved in the claims process here.

Claim compensation on a no win no fee basis

In order to make a successful claim, you and your personal injury claims solicitor need to be able to prove:

  • That you’ve suffered a psychological injury or physical injury, and these injuries have been documented by medical professionals
  • You’ve suffered these injuries as a result of the bullying at work
  • That your employer was negligent in their duty of care and they failed to protect you

If your solicitor can’t prove all three of these, then they will likely not take on your case on a no win no fee basis.

What evidence do I need to support my bullying at work compensation claim?

If you’ve been bullied at work, you could be eligible to make a compensation claim. To ensure your claim is successful, you need to prove that you suffered injuries and your employer was neglectful in their duty of care toward you.

In order to do this, it’s important to gather as much information as possible to help your solicitor build a strong case for compensation.

To make it easier when it comes to starting your claim, it’s useful to make a note of some of the details of the bullying:

  • Evidence of bullying in the form of emails, text messages and/or other written communications
  • Evidence from witnesses who saw or heard the bullying taking place
  • Evidence from witnesses who were present when the employee complained about or reported their bullying
  • Evidence that management failed to respond adequately when told about the bullying (for instance, if they responded by saying there was no case against them)
  • Record the dates, times and locations of any negative behaviour, and keep track of the effect it’s had on you
  • Ask for medical records from your doctor to show you’ve had to seek medical assistance because of the psychological or physical harm you’ve suffered

Why make a workplace bullying claim through Claims.co.uk

When seeking bullying at work compensation, it’s important to enlist the help of a personal injury solicitor early on in your claim. A solicitor will provide you with advice, support and guidance on what steps need to be taken for claiming compensation.

As well as preparing the evidence needed for your claim, they will negotiate with the other side to try and obtain the maximum compensation payout for you. If it comes down to court then they will represent you there too.

To find out more about making a bullying at work compensation claim, call 0800 234 6438 and speak to a trained legal advisor for free legal advice, or fill out the form and request a call back.

If they believe you could have a claim, they will pass your information over to partner personal injury solicitors who will work hard on your behalf.

The personal injury claim process

If you have been a victim of bullying at work, harassment or discrimination, and it is someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Compensation can cover loss or damage suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence and help put things right for you.

Enlist a personal injury solicitor

The first step in making a personal injury claim is to seek legal advice about whether you have a claim to bring, and if you do, you’ll be put in touch with a specialist solicitor who will guide you through the process.

If you have a case, your claim will proceed on a No Win No Fee basis meaning there are no upfront legal fees payable, and if you lose the case, you will have nothing to pay either.

Get medically assessed

Make sure that your injuries, both physical and psychological, are medically assessed and treated. This is a crucial part of the claim process because without evidence of injuries, there’s no way to win a personal injury claim.

If possible, find a doctor who will give you an accurate diagnosis and explain the effects your injury has had on your health, and the potential impact it could have on the rest of your life.

Keep receipts and records

When you make a claim, you will need to provide proof of your losses or expenses. You should keep all receipts and records in order to support these claims. These records may be useful in calculating the amount of compensation that is due to you.

For example:

  • Medical bills (including hospital stays)
  • Travel costs (if treatment is required away from home)
  • Loss of earnings

Legal time limits

It’s important to know that there are strict time limits for making a personal injury compensation claim. This means that if you miss the deadline, you won’t be able to make your compensation claim at all.

For example, in England and Wales (apart from Northern Ireland), you have three years from the date of an incident to make your personal injury compensation claim. And in Scotland, the time limit is six years.

What happens next?

Once you’ve spoken to your solicitor, they will take a statement from you. This is an important part of the process and needs to be done carefully.

After this, negotiations and settlement talks begin to take place. If an agreement can be reached, this process can happen quickly and you receive your money sooner than you thought.

Don’t let them get away with it. You’ve suffered through no fault of your own – so find out today if you’ve got a claim to make. You’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain.

If you’ve been bullied at work and you’ve suffered as a result, get in touch today on 0800 234 6438, or fill out the form and request a call back, for free legal advice.

Other Important Information

*No Win No Fee

  • Although all our cases are handled on a no win no fee basis, other costs could be payable upon solicitors request. These will be fully explained to you before you proceed. Most customers will pay 25% (including VAT) of the compensation they are awarded to their law firm, although this may vary based on individual circumstances. Your solicitor may arrange for insurance to be in place for you to make sure your claim is risk free. Termination fees based on time spent may apply, or in situations such as: lack of cooperation or deliberately misleading our solicitors, or failing to go to any medical or expert examination, or court hearing.
  • *Criminal Injury Claims

  • If you want to make a claim for a criminal injury, you are not required to use the services of a claims management company to pursue the claim. You can submit your claim for free on your own behalf, directly to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (England, Wales, and Scotland) or the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme (Northern Ireland).
About the Author

Nicola Laver LLB

Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.

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