Young Workers

Click here to return to the Your Fears contents page.Your Fears : Bullying

Everyone has heard about bullying at school and some of you visiting our site today will have experienced it first hand. Much greater effort is being made in the education sector to stamp out this sort of behaviour once and for all. In fact, all schools are now expected to have an anti-bullying policy.

Many young people are afraid that they will be bullied when they start work for the first time. They think that because they will be the youngest member of staff, older colleagues will pick on them.

Until fairly recently, bullying in the workplace was an issue virtually unheard of - not because it didn't exist - more because it was well hidden. But now that employers must take account of their employees' mental well-being as well as their physical health and safety, stress factors are big news and bullying is recognised as a major cause of stress at work.

Bullying in the workplace has been defined by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) as "the persistent (and normally deliberate) misuse of power or position to intimidate." Bullying at work can take many forms.

It is a sad fact that many bullies get to reach high positions of power and this makes it difficult to challenge their behaviour. Some companies actually encourage the bully by adopting 'strong management' styles believing that aggressive behaviour is necessary to motivate the staff to meet their targets.

The impact of bullying on an organisation
The Andrea Adams Trust suggest that the impact of bullying on an organisation can be:

  • increased sick leave and high levels of absenteeism
  • high staff turnover
  • low staff morale as the workforce becomes demotivated
  • reduced productivity
  • growth in tribunal cases and civil action
  • damage to the company's image

Andrea Adams was a documentary maker who sadly died of cancer in 1995. The Trust , named after her, work towards stamping out bullying in the workplace by making people aware of its negative effects.

Andrea Adams Trust
Hova House
1 Hova Villas
East Sussex

Telephone: 01273 704 900

What about those who are being bullied?
Many employees do not actually realise that they are being bullied. Instead, they think that they are useless at their job and blame themselves. This is just what the bully wants.

If you are feeling stressed and upset at work and can't switch off even at home, then ask yourself whether or not it is due to bullying at your workplace. If you are really unhappy, then take charge of the situation and move on. If you like your company and want to continue working there, despite the bully, you can still do something about it.

Visit the Andrea Adams Trust website for advice and guidance or phone their Helpline 01273 704 900 - 0800-1600 - Monday to Friday for information and support.

Find out more at:

| Accessibility | Copyright & Disclaimer © RoSPA | Contact Us |
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents Return to the Young Workers Home Page