Gibraltar have a new ‘Bullying at Work Act’ http://www.gibraltarlaws.gov.gi/articles/2014-07o.pdf and the question was raised on a forum chat as to whether we should have something similar here.
Our view was this:
On the one hand, a specific piece of legislation on bullying might make some employers take the issue more seriously. Especially if there compulsory elements were included in terms of how workplace bullying should be dealt with. The absence of specific legislation has meant some organisations tend to see bullying as less important than ‘harassment’. However, all the issues around organisational response to workplace bullying and harassment will still prevail. If an organisation is not taking it seriously, then given there is already harassment legislation and bullying can be actioned under H & S will anything change. I wonder if the route to improvement is actually compliance. For me, I believe that it is more around education, awareness raising, improving the organisational response to bullying and harassment and standing up to inappropriate behaviour every time. No exceptions. By the time a workplace bullying and harassment case has entered a legal process everyone has lost, relationships are fractured and potentially there are serious consequences for an individual in terms of health and wellbeing and consequences for the organisations reputation. We need to be addressing issues in our workplaces, not in an employment tribunal or courtroom. (Alison Twist January 2015)