Month: June 2014
On Friday 7th March 2014, it was reported in the Standard, the BBC Director General, Tony Hall, said that the BBC has a bullying problem – but we are on top of it.
“The findings of an investigation by Dinah Rose QC into BBC’s working environment, commissioned in the light of Jimmy Savile’s sex crimes and published in May, found broader issues of bullying and the inappropriate use of power of which sexual harassment is only one manifestation.”
“I want a culture where people can come to work and feel they are valued and don’t feel bullied. These are not easy things to deal with but we are working our way through that.” Tony Hall
However, on the 8th March 2014 it was reported in the Daily Mail that “after senior executive was found guilty of bullying but then moved to what has been described as a plum job.”
The report went on to say, “Jim Buchanan, a news chief, received a written warning after a year long investigation upheld claims that he bullied and intimidated staff.
The complaints were said to be about verbal abuse and sending intimidating emails to colleagues.
But yesterday sources said Mr. Buchanan had been moved to another senior role, leading to criticism that the Corporation was again failing to take bullying claims seriously.”
Tim Field in his book, Bully In Sight, described how it was not unusual for the perpetrators of workplace bullying to be promoted while the victims suffered, receiving no justice.
It is clear to me, evidenced by the numerous reports in the media, that without legislation this practice of workplace bullying is never going to end as employers are not going to take it seriously. Consequently, individuals and our economy will continue to suffer.
Support the campaign to Introduce Legislation to protect Workers and our Economy against Workplace Bullying.
Legislation has been passed in Tennesse USA, to Protect Workers against Workplace Bullying. Employment Rights eroded in the UK while employment rights increase in other countries.
In my blog dated October 2013 I referred to the survey carried out by the OECD which showed that UK workers were the 3rd least protected in terms of employment rights out of 40 developed countries. http://xperthr.co.uk/blogsemployment-intelligence/2013/03employment-law-reform-progress/#sthash.8QMj41F4.dpuf
The only countries which had less protection was the USA and Canada. Since then the employment protection for UK workers has deteriorated eg introduction of fees for employment tribunals; you have to be employed for 2 years instead of 1 year to be able to claim unfair dismissal (see Department for Business Innovation and Skills Employment Law 2013 Progress on Reform page 24 paragraph 2.3
However, Canadian Provinces have legislation to protect their workers against harassment / bullying in places such as Quebec, Saskatchewan, Ontario British Columbia. (see JILPT REPORT Workplace Bullying and Harassment No.12 20130.
In 2008, the OECD sited the USA as having the least protection for workers in the workplace. Yet now we see the Healthy Workplace Bill has been introduced into many States to protect workers against workplace bullying. Tennesse is the first state to enact the Law on June 3 2014. http://www.healthyworkplacebill.org/states/tn/tennessee.php
On April 13 2014, in Massachusetts, the Bill reached its 2nd reading in the House in the USA.
Nevada State Senator, Richard Segerblom of Las Vegas proposes amending Nevada’s employment discrimination law so that anyone who is a victim of a hostile workplace environment has a legal remedy whether or not they can show illegal discrimination.
This I would argue, would overcome the absurdity of our present law in the UK as I endeavoured to show in the previous blog with various examples.
However, what is happening in the UK today to protect UK workers against bullying in the workplace – NOTHING! There has been a lot of talk in the past by unions, MP’s and others, such as the great work by Tim Field and the Andrea Adams Trust to show the seriousness of the problem in the UK and how it is affecting the mental health of individuals and also the economy as well as business organisations and the efficiency of workplaces but still workplace bullying continues.
As well as the references I have referred to in previous blogs, see the speech made by John Robertson MP in 2008 on 16th December http://www.john-robertson.co.uk/2008/12/dignity-at-work/
Apart from this blog I have seen no recent campaigning from MP’s or unions to stop this evil practice.
We need to follow the example of other countries and learn from them. We must not give up fighting against this morally outrageous practice which needs to be made illegal.
Support the Campaign to Introduce Legislation to Protect Workers and our Economy against Workplace Bullying
2004 Voluntary Project to Combat Workplace Bullying in UK. 10 Years Later – FAILED. Now is the time to bring in UK Legislation to Protect our Workers as in other Countries.
Valerie Davey MP. (Lab) for Bristol West stated in 2004
“The need for the Government to be more proactive in promoting and ensuring dignity at work for all employees at every level has been reiterated from the back benches of this Chamber and the House of Lords since at least 1996……
All Members of Parliament must know through their surgeries of cases of constituents experiencing bullying at work and being unable to voice that experience and seek a resolution. When we first heard about those often desperate cases most of us were unaware of the scale of the problem….
Subsequent evidence from trade Unions confirmed that despite years of campaigning against bullying, it remains a persistent and extensive problem.”
Valerie Davey MP went on to describe a new project that was being launched.
“The project has been launched to provide supportive advice and training to organisations that are trying to tackle bullying, train employees as counsellors, devise and promote a voluntary charter on dignity at work, promote examples of excellent employers in the UK and produce a benchmark that enables organisations to measure their success in achieving dignity at work and a “ban the bullying” pack.”
She went on to say “ I remind the Government that other European countries have followed the legislative route and I hope the work (Project) will be compared with the work in other countries.”
Ms Davey MP hoped that the project would be enough to stamp out bullying in the workplace and therefore no need to bring in legislation. However she went on to say that if the project was not successful that Ministers would then reconsider and bring in legislation.
“-and with assurance –from the Minister that the project will be monitored and that should good practice not prove as infectious as we all hope, the Government will reconsider the possibility of legislation and revisit the new clause or a similar provision later”
That was back in March 2004.
Ten years later the project I argue has not been successful. Surely 10 years is long enough to test out a project. Was there any monitoring? Are there any reports regarding any monitoring? I think the following links to newspaper articles over recent years reporting on workplace bullying is enough to show that ‘the project has not been successful and therefore legislation needs to be brought in, in line with other countries.
These are just a small percentage of articles I have collected from newspapers which I believe shows that the Project referred to by Valerie Davey has not been successful.
It also must be recognised that the articles are referring to large Public Sector organisations which attracts media attention. We must not forget the millions of workers employed in small businesses who equally suffer psychological trauma by workplace bullies but do not attract media attention.
Surely after 10 years, MP’s need to start acting again in order to bring in legislation, in line with other countries, to protect our workers and economy from the insidious bullying that is taking place every day in organisations up and down this country.
Tell us about your experiences and opinions. Do you think the UK has a problem with Workplace Bullying? Do you think that there should be legislation to protect our workers?
Support the Campaign To Introduce Legislation To Protect Workers and our Economy Against Workplace Bullying