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Anti Bullying Week and Combatting Workplace Bullying and Harassment

Anti Bullying week runs from 12-16 November every year. This year’s theme is “choose respect”.

Anti Bullying week runs from 12-16 November every year. This year’s theme is “choose respect”.

While Anti Bullying Week focuses on schools, bullying doesn't just affect children. Bullying can have a devastating effect on the health and well-being of adults. It’s demoralising for those who witness it and can be devastating to those who experience it.

Our Joint research with Equity and the ISM revealed that one in out of every two music, dance and drama students are at risk from bullying.

On top of this, our work with the FEU revealed that 56% of respondents to the Creating Without Conflict Survey experienced bullying, harassment or discrimination. The survey showed that where bullying was reported – being a member of a union was more likely to lead to a successful outcome.

What is workplace bullying?

Workplace bullying and harassment are unwanted behaviour patterns which intimidate or offend the person at whom it is targeted.

Bullying can be characterised by persistent, offensive, abusive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour which may make the recipient feel upset, threatened, humiliated or vulnerable.

It can include – consistent criticism of a competent worker, shouting at staff members, people being publicly or privately belittled, unreasonable work demands, or setting someone up to fail.

Preventing bullying and harassment

While bullying is not against the law, it can be challenged under health and safety law as a workplace hazard detrimental to employees’ health and mental health.

Company-wide policies and procedures on bullying, harassment and discrimination are essential in the workplace. It is also essential that freelance and casual workers are included in the policies and procedures.

Find out more about the MU’s work to support people affected by bullying in the workplace here.

You can also find out more about our Music Sector Code of Practice, designed specifically to combat sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace here.

Published: 12/11/2018
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