What to do if you have been a victim of bullying whilst working from home?
Posted on 5th October 2022 at 16:17
What is Cyber Bullying?
Cyberbullying is essentially bullying done through digital channels. These can include email, social media, video calls, text messages and apps. Cyber bullying can also include excessive assessment or monitoring of employees working remotely.
Increase in Cyber Bullying and Hybrid Working
The shift to a more hybrid form of working has seen an increase in cyber bullying at work which is extremely bad for the victim who may suffer mental health issues and absenteeism, but also for the firm as a whole as it may result in a fall in morale and poor employee relations.
Right from the start it is important that your employer has robust and clear policies in place to deal with any cyber bullying occurrences.
Types of cyber bullying can include:
• Out of proportion criticism
• Patronising tone
• Spamming an inbox – continuous emails sent which can cause stress with their frequency and tone
• Being left out of events or team activities via email
• Putting out posts which are detrimental to a person’s reputation
• Posting inappropriate pictures
• Sending unpleasant messages, often anonymously
• Threatening to reveal personal information online
• Inappropriate remarks being made on video calls
• Leaving colleagues out of remote meetings
In some cases there will be a paper trail to follow of evidence but in other cases there may not be if the individual is not aware of things that are being said about them online. Also messages might be sent outside of work which would make it harder to monitor.
Is bullying against the law?
Bullying may come under the heading of Harassment and be unlawful under the Equality Act 2010. This protects employees against harassment (as defined) in relation to a relevant protected characteristic such as age, disability, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership. Or under the Protection for Harassment Act 1997 (where it does not need to be linked to a protected characteristic). Click here to read about Employment Discrimination and Harassment. If you are being harassed at work you may be able to claim compensation from your employer through the Employment Tribunal. In order to be successful in a claim of harassment an employee must prove that:
• They have been subjected to unwanted conduct because of one of the protected characteristics and
• The conduct has the purpose or effect of violating their dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.
Our expert lawyers will guide you through the processes required and answer any questions you may have.
What should an employer do to deal with and prevent cyber bullying?
• Have up-to-date harassment and anti-bullying policies
• Have an easy system in place to report abuse
• Investigate promptly, fairly and sensitively
• Take a robust zero tolerance approach
• Training regarding cyber bullying
Has your employer done the above? If not, then that may aid your claim and what you might compensation you might be entitled to.
If you believe you have been a victim of cyber bullying
If you think you have been discriminated against at work, you may be able to claim compensation from your employer. Our discrimination solicitors in Leeds and Harrogate can provide you with advice on your claim and support throughout the process.
Contact us on 0113 2007480 or email us to arrange your free initial, no-obligation meeting with a specialist Leeds employment lawyer. At this meeting we will:
• Review you situation to see if you have a claim
• Determine if your case is suitable for a No Win No Fee agreement
• Determine the next steps to be taken
Contact our team on 0113 2007480.
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