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Everyone has the right to be treated with respect at work, so if you feel you are being harassed by your employer or co-workers, you can take action to challenge this behaviour. Having the right legal advice can make this sometimes intimidating process easier and significantly increase your chances of a positive outcome.
Our employment lawyers offer a supportive, expert and practical approach and after taking the time to fully understand your particular situation they’ll talk you through your legal options in plain English. By providing a clear assessment of your situation, we can help give you the confidence to effectively raise a grievance for harassment at work and advise you on the best way to build a strong case, boosting your chances of achieving a fair resolution.
We offer a short free initial telephone assessment to help give you an idea of the strength of your case and an initial fixed-fee half hour meeting for £99 including VAT.
How we can help you deal with harassment at work
If you believe you are being harassed at work, we can advise you on your legal rights and the steps you need to take to ensure this behaviour is effectively dealt with and that your wellbeing is protected.
We recommend keeping a record of every instance of harassment to help build your case. You will need to raise a grievance with your employer and give them the opportunity to deal with the issue before taking further action.
If you are unsure whether the behaviour you are experiencing amounts to harassment, we will be happy to advise you. Bullying and harassment are sometimes one complaint and may also be linked to discrimination.
The standard process for dealing with allegations of workplace harassment includes:
- You raising a grievance in writing
- Your employer holding a meeting with you to discuss the complaint (you can bring a companion to this meeting and any subsequent meetings)
- Your employer investigating the complaint
- Your employer notifying you of the outcome of their investigation
- You being given the chance to appeal if you are unhappy with the outcome
Our employment lawyers can assist you with every step of this process, including guiding you through how to raise and resolve your grievance effectively. Where this process is not effective, we can discuss alternative options with you, including negotiating a settlement or bringing an Employment Tribunal claim.
What the law says about harassment in the workplace
Workplace harassment is illegal under the Equality Act 2010. This defines harassment as unwanted or unwelcome behaviour that:
- Violates your dignity, or
- Creates an offensive, intimidating, hostile, degrading or humiliating environment
This can include things like abusive or threating behaviour, whether written, verbal or physical, and does not necessarily need to be directed at you. For example, if two co-workers were talking in a way you found offensive within your hearing, you might have a claim for harassment under the Equality Act.
The ACAS Code of Practice
Introduced in 2009, the ACAS Code of Practice (ACAS Code) replaces the previous statutory grievance procedures. Employers must follow the Code during grievance procedures when an employee makes a harassment complaint.
If an employer does not comply with the ACAS Code, an Employment Tribunal can increase by 25% the compensation awarded in the event of a successful claim.