Twitter's @drunacoales kindly drew my attention this week to the ACAS website, where they are highlighting cyber-bullying in the workplace. They write:
“Cyber bullying at work is becoming as prevalent as non-electronic forms of bullying, according to a recent academic study”.
Offensive personal emails, being humiliated or excluded in group mail or being mocked on social media by colleagues is on the increase. A victim of offensive emails myself, this trend is extremely worrying. It used to be the case that a written record of bullying was your strongest ally. Workplace bullies were careful not to leave a written record which could be used against them in evidence.
So why are bullies becoming more brazen?
I can only guess that workplace bullies feel more secure thanks to the recent changes in employment law. It’s harder to get justice after bullying – even if you have proof. It really is a bully’s charter.
In light of the above, if this is happening to you, it’s essential that you keep copies of anything sent to you. Keep a diary. And seek the advice of a solicitor or union rep. The more brazen the bullies are, the more informed we must be! They’re not infallible. It is harder to get justice, but it’s not impossible.
When they go too far, which they inevitably will if your company doesn’t step in, you’ll have evidence and external support. What you’ll achieve with this evidence and support will vary, but it’s something. You won’t be alone.
We’ll start there.