Last updated on May 10th, 2022
Bullying in the workplace should not be tolerated. Employers have a duty of care to try and prevent it from happening and should have an anti-bullying policy in place to try and stop it. If you’ve got a supervisor who is hostile towards you or a group of colleagues who pick on you because of your religion, you have rights in place to protect you and you could take legal action. In this guide to claiming compensation for bullying at work, we’ll explain what forms of harassment or bullying can occur in the workplace, what you could claim for, and average payouts for bullying at work.
We could help you if you’re considering claiming compensation for bullying at work. To start a specialist advisor will go through everything with you to see if you have the grounds to take action. You won’t be obliged to proceed but you’ll get free legal advice whatever you decide to do. Furthermore, if your claim appears to be viable, we could pass it to a solicitor from our team. To make your claim a lot less stressful, they’ll work on a No Win No Fee basis if they agree to represent you.
If you like to discuss workplace bullying and your eligibility to claim compensation, please call 0800 6524 881 today. Otherwise, please read some more of this guide on how employment law claims work.
Table of contents
- What Is Bullying Or Harassment At Work?
- Common Forms Of Bullying At Work
- How To Claim Compensation For Bullying At Work
- How Much Compensation For Bullying At Work Can I Claim?
- Time Limits For Workplace Harassment And Bullying Injuries
- Using Our Solicitors To Claim Compensation For Bullying At Work
Legally, harassment in the workplace is defined by the Equality Act 2010. It shows us that harassment is any unwanted conduct regarding a protected characteristic that causes a hostile, intimidating, offensive, humiliating, or degrading environment, or violates the employee’s dignity.
The protected characteristics that harassment or bullying claims can be based on include:
- Skin colour or race.
- Religion or beliefs.
- Sexual orientation.
- Gender reassignment.
- Marital status.
- Maternity and pregnancy.
If you have been picked on or harassed because of these characteristics you could be entitled to claim compensation for bullying at work. Importantly, you’ll need evidence that your employer was aware of the bullying and failed to take steps to stop it from happening.
Proving these types of claims is not always easy and we’d always suggest having a specialist employment solicitor on your side. Therefore, please call today if you’d like to discuss your options.
To give you some ideas of what forms of bullying or harassment could entitle you to seek damages, please take a look at some common examples below:
- Verbal abuse. Here the victim may have to listen to jokes in bad taste about them or have to deal with regular insults from colleagues or managers.
- Prevention of training options. This is a more passive form of bullying and might be quite difficult to prove. However, if you’re not given the same opportunities to receive training or you’re blocked from promotion, compensation might be possible.
- Being treated differently. It is against the law to treat an employee differently from others because of a protected characteristic. So, if you’re doing the same role as others but are not treated the same as them, this could constitute harassment or bullying.
- Gossip and rumours. You might be able to claim compensation for bullying at work if you suffer because of rumours being spread about you in your workplace.
- Being constantly undermined. This could lead to a claim if you face criticism or are undermined regularly where there is no go reason to be treated in that way.
Remember, these forms of bullying could lead to compensation being paid if they are based on one of the protected characteristics listed earlier.
Bullying is a horrible thing to have to face in any part of your life. It can occur in many different ways including:
- Online bullying. This might mean colleagues are attacking you via email or spreading rumours about you on social media.
- Face to face. This is probably the most common type of bullying where your attacker(s) will be hostile towards you in person.
- On the phone. This is similar to face to face bullying but is less likely to be seen by others.
- In writing. Harassment or bullying can also occur in emails or letters sent to you. The only good thing here, though, is that you may have evidence that could help if you decide to take action.
If you are considering claiming compensation for bullying at work, please call us if you’re not sure you have the grounds to take action.
If you are suffering at work because of bullying, it’s important to keep a note of what’s happening. If you’re able to, you should then raise the issue with your manager, supervisor or HR department.
By law, employers must try to stop bullying at work when they become aware of it. If yours continues because your employer fails to act upon your concerns, you might have the grounds to take action against them.
You should not be concerned about your job when making a claim. You have rights that protect you from being sacked or demoted for claiming compensation for bullying at work and you could make a separate claim if those rights have been breached.
If you’ve been affected by bullying at work and decide to make a claim, you could ask one of our personal injury solicitors to help you. Initially, they’ll establish the facts by reviewing the case with you. Then they’ll file the claim with your employer to see if they’ll admit liability for your suffering.
If they do, the next stage is to negotiate a compensation settlement for you. In many cases, this can be achieved amicably, and a compensation payout amount can be agreed upon. If liability is denied or the amount of compensation cannot be agreed upon, an employment tribunal might be required.
If your case is accepted by a tribunal court, the judge will set out how the case should be managed. During this time, both parties will disclose the documents they possess that are relevant to the case. Once everything is ready, the judge will set a date for the hearing. At this point, it is still possible for our solicitors to try and agree upon an out of court settlement.
If the claim does go to a tribunal, the court will decide upon a) whether the claim is found in your favour and b) what amount of damages should be awarded.
The amount of compensation for bullying at work you could claim will usually be based on:
- Any lost earnings. For example, you could claim this if the stress at work from the situation meant you lost income because you couldn’t work. Furthermore, if you lost money because you weren’t promoted because of bullying, this could be considered too.
- Psychological suffering. It may also be possible to claim if you were made ill by the bullying and suffered from anxiety, embarrassment, distress, or depression.
Some examples of compensation amounts where bullying at work has caused psychological harm are shown below.
- £1,540 – £5,860 compensation for less severe psychological injury.
- £5,860 – £19,070 compensation for moderate psychological injury.
- £19,070 – £54,830 compensation for moderately severe psychological injury.
- £54,830 – £115,730 compensation for severe psychological injury.
If you decide to work claim with us, your solicitor will assess exactly what compensation you might be eligible to claim after reviewing how you’ve been affected.
It is important that any compensation claim for personal injuries from harassment and bullying at work is filed in time. Generally, all injury claims must be begun within 3-years of when the injury occurred, or from when the injury was diagnosed.
If your claim for bullying at work is filed too late, it can automatically be rejected. This means you wouldn’t be eligible to claim and you could miss out on receiving the compensation you may be entitled to. Therefore, it’s worth calling our team to enquire about your options as soon as possible.
Proving that bullying at work has a) caused you to suffer and b) happened with your employer’s knowledge can be tricky. If you don’t prove what happened to your employer or a tribunal, you might not receive a penny in compensation.
Therefore, we’d suggest talking to our team about your claim. We believe that if your case is accepted, our solicitors can improve your chances of being fairly compensated.
If you would like to discuss how much compensation for bullying at work you could claim and what your options are, call us on 0800 6524 881. Remember, if your claim is taken on, it will be processed on a No Win No Fee basis by one of our solicitors.