Month: February 2014

Everybody can be a Victim of Bullying

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Everybody can be a Victim of Bullying

Articles have been written about soldiers, public service workers, doctors, nurses who have been victims of being bullied out of their jobs. Now we have an article about a Priest who was bullied out of his Parish because he spoke out about after service drinking and had the integrity to try and do something about it. An investigation was carried out and the report stated, “There was a culture amongst a very small number of members of St. Faith’s that bullying and the undermining of Simon Tibbs (Priest) are acceptable as a means to an end – his removal.”

Is bullying ever acceptable? Absolutely not.

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The Dignity at Work Partnership estimated that the cost of workplace bullying in 2007 was £17.65 billion

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The Dignity at Work Partnership estimated that the cost of workplace bullying in 2007 was £17.65 billion

“The serial bully who in my estimation accounts for about 1 person in 30 in society, is the single most important threat to the effectiveness of organisations, the profitability of industry, the performance of the economy and the prosperity of society” Tim Field, Bullyonline December 1999  www.bullyonline.org/workbully.quotes.htm

The Dignity at Work partnership carried out detailed research of the costs of bullying for the year  2007. Using statistics taken from the Office of National Statistics, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Unison, Health and Safety Executive and many others; the following was concluded;

33.5 million working days were lost by UK organisations due to bullying related absenteeism

£3.06 billion was the cost of bullying related absenteeism

199,375 employees left organisations as a result of bullying

£1.5 billion was the total cost of the turnover of staff due to bullying

100  million days productivity was lost due to bullying

£9.14 billion was the total cost of bullying related to the loss in productivity

TOTAL COST = £13.75 Billion in 2007 (£3.06 B + £1.5 B + £9.14B)

Other costs however include such things as the costs to the criminal justice system (Employment Tribunals etc)

Welfare – the state may have to take on payments for long term sickness

Premature and ill health retirement (loss of National health contributions)

Costs of 3rd party interventions (eg ACAS)

The Dignity at Work Partnership went on to say in their report,

“Adopting Gordon and Risley’s (1999) approach who suggested that the cost of bullying to society is in the region of 1.4% – 2% of the Gross National Product (GDP) and taking 2004 GDP estimates of £1176.5 Billion (National Statistics 2007) we can estimate that a 1.5% reduction in overall UK productivity would result in a financial cost of £17.65 billion.

It is quite clear therefore that bullying is not only costly to each individual who is a victim of bullying but also to society at large.

CIPD reported on the 10th February 2014 that the Government is launching ‘The Health and Work Service’ in order to cut the cost of long term absences by offering a helpline and non-compulsory medical assessments. The Government disclosed that it could cut ill health costs for employers by as much as £70m a year. (BBC news 9  February 2014). Compare this figure of £70 million to £17.65 billion.

I consider this £70 million a drop in the ocean compared to what could be saved, £17.65 billion if bullying was made illegal and the impact of bullying in the workplace was taken seriously by our policy makers.

Imagine what improvements could be made to our public services and everybody’s standard of living if  an extra £17.65 billion every year  was added to our Gross National product.

What are your thoughts?

Support the campaign to introduce legislation to protect workers against workplace bullying in the UK

NHS Managers, Bullied, Threatened and Intimidated.

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NHS Managers, Bullied, Threatened and Intimidated.

A Tribunal found that an NHS Trust ‘dishonestly’ suppressed a report into accusations of nepotism and favouritism by Dr. Paula Vasco-Knight CBE (South Devon Healthcare  NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive) which led to the bullying and eventual resignations of the two managers.The two whistleblowing managers, reported  Dr. Vasco-Knight to the Trust’s Chairperson, when she, Dr. Vasco-Knight,  showed favouritism towards her daughter’s boyfriend when she was chairing an interviewing panel for a senior post. The daughter’s boyfriend was appointed and Dr. Vasco-Knight did not declare a personal interest. The whistleblowers described how the Trust Chairperson, bullied and threatened them after they reported their concerns, by making it clear that the issue should not be taken further, as they would all lose their jobs, ‘through dirty means’.

The Tribunal exonerated the two managers and the Trust chairman resigned.

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The Bullying Institute

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A description of bullying by the Bullying Institute in the United States. Dr. Gary Namie talks about what bullying is and what it is not.

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A former bullied soldier tries to commit suicide

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A former bullied soldier tries to commit suicide

A former soldier is taking legal action against the Ministry of Defence. It has been reported on the BBC news today that when Joseph Mcabe reported bullying behaviour  to his NCO nothing was done. The bullying behaviour was so severe, the report alleges, that it led to the former private trying to commit suicide on a number of occasions.

How much suffering do UK workers have to take before Parliament do something about this abhorrent practice?

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1 in 8 of our trainee doctors suffer bullying.

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1 in 8 of our trainee doctors suffer bullying.

It was reported in the Huffington Post in January 2012 that the recruitment company, ‘Monster’, carried out a survey, questioning 16,517 workers in 53 countries. The survey revealed that 25%  of British people said their work performance was adversely affected because of bullying. A study by Staffordshire University Business School found that about 14 million British workers suffered bullying. Bullying occurs in all walks of life, including amongst our doctors. GP online found  that 1 in 8 of our trainee doctors suffer bullying.  http://m.gponline.com/article/1223874/one-eight-trainee-doctors-bullied-report-finds  If bullying affects work performance, these trainee doctors are not therefore working to their best. Surely the British people want the very best in health care which means that doctors, when they come out of training, need to be performing to their very best. 1 in 8 of our doctors could therefore be doing better because of their mistreatment. Surely this is a strong enough argument in itself to make bullying illegal as we all need to have access to healthcare at some point in our lives. Do you agree?

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