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One in 10 sackings in Ireland is down to bullying

More than half of Irish companies do not have strong enough policies on bullying.

Photo: File
Photo: File
Image: Shutterstock/Photographee.eu

BULLYING HAS BEEN shown to be a major factor in workplace dismissals, a new study has shown.

Over the past two years bullying was found to feature in one in ten dismissals.

The study, conducted by researchers at the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre in DCU, defined these cases by ones where there is a “need for employers to develop more positive working environments where dignity and respect are promoted.”

More than half of the workplaces looked at in the study did not have sufficient anti-bullying policies and procedures in place.

Where do these figures come from?

The analysis was conducted by looking back at cases taken to the Employment Appeals Tribunal under the Unfair Dismissals Act between June 2013 and September 2015.

The 99 cases examined all had bullying referred to by the claimants involved.

While it was found that the divide between the number of men and women being bullied was more or less equal, males were much more likely to be the ones accused of carrying out the bullying.

It was also found that male employees were less likely to take cases against female employees.

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gender Cases by gender Source: DCU

What was the outcome of the cases?

The largest award given during the period examined was for €1.5 million. This figure was much higher than the second highest award of €110,000.

When the high figure was discluded the average award during the period was found to be €20,285.

Cases were found to be much less likely to end in a cash settlement when appropriate policies and procedures to deal with a bullying complaint were put in place.

Speaking about the findings, James O’Higgins Norman, co-author of the report and director of the National Anti-Bullying Resource and Research Centre, said:

This research serves as a warning to employers to ensure that they develop and implement appropriate policies and practices that will not only provide them with some protection in court cases but more importantly to promote a respect and dignity in the workplace.

Read: Man ‘isolated, bullied and harassed’ by work managers awarded €20,000

Also: Polish man sacked by Tesco after making more than 25 complaints awarded €11,000

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