Tuesday, 28 April 2020 13:18

#Timesup for bullying in the workplace

Movements such as #metoo and #timesup have highlighted a fundamental shift in culture resulting in people, who are subject to various forms of mistreatment in the workplace, being no longer prepared to suffer in silence. As such, businesses must increasingly ensure they are providing a safe, fair and dignified working environment for all their employees.

MeToo showed us that for years many people stayed silent about sexual harassment in the workplace and TimesUp highlights its continued existence. However, it’s not just sexual harassment that needs to be addressed. Harassment in the workplace can take many forms and can often relate to protected characteristics such as race, religion, and beliefs. Employers must provide better ways to allow their staff to speak up.

In a recent publication by the National Guardians Office, it was highlighted that Freedom to Speak Up Guardians have seen whistleblowing concerns increase significantly in the last two years with 19,331 concerns received, 41% of those concerns related to bullying and harassment in the workplace.

Bullying and harassment is a huge issue that all organisations can be affected by, and if mishandled, can cause significant problems for employers. Employers are responsible for preventing bullying and harassment. They can be liable for any harassment suffered by their employees and whilst anti-bullying and harassment policies can help prevent problems, it is important that employers ensure that the measures in these policies can be delivered on time, every time.

Employee support is essential

Harassment and discrimination of any kind can be a very traumatic and confusing experience for an employee to report. Businesses should ensure that their employees have access to trained and experienced people that can provide the right level of support for their staff.

Traditionally, most complaints relating to harassment and discrimination have been dealt with internally as a HR grievance. However, in recent times there has been a significant increase in the number of concerns raised via external whistleblowing procedures.

Confidential external reporting helplines can provide an effective alternative reporting solution for employers wishing to provide the means and support for staff to raise issues about bullying and harassment anonymously.

Now is the time to act

Workplace conduct is on every organisation’s agenda, with employers looking to create environments that are free of harassment, discrimination, and poor workplace conduct. Business leaders are being challenged to explain how they plan on implementing and maintaining safe, appropriate channels for employees to raise concerns about misconduct.

SeeHearSpeakUp is a global confidential reporting service provider. If you would like more information on how we can help your organisation implement an effective solution to tackle bullying in the workplace contact the sales team on +44 (0)1224 049782 or you can request a quote for our service’s here.

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