“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 afinancial 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