Bullying at work

Workplace bullying is the long-term and deliberate abuse of employees. Our in-depth article will explain the definition of bullying, outline the most important provisions of the Labour Code and give you tips on who you can turn to for support.

In order to effectively fight the phenomenon of bullying at work, you need to know what it actually is. According to Article 94. of the Labor Code:

Bullying means actions or behaviour concerning an employee or directed against an employee, consisting of persistent and long-term harassment or intimidation of an employee, resulting in lowering his/her evaluation of his/her professional usefulness, causing or aimed at degrading or ridiculing an employee, isolating him/her or eliminating him/her from the team of co-workers.


It is worth understanding that not all conflicts at work and lack of sympathy among team members amount to harassment. The Labor Code clearly states that harassment must be long-term and permanent. This is important because the onus is on the victim to prove the illegality of the act and the guilt of those bullying others.

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No one has to put up with bullying at work. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Bullying and insults will not be tolerated. Your employer has a duty to protect you from bullying and abusive behavior. Employers should take measures to prevent bullying and establish complaint procedures to facilitate help and support for those affected by bullying.
If the bullying is covert or indirect, it may be more difficult to recognize the harassment. Examples of indirect bullying include:

  • depriving you of training or promotion opportunities
  • constantly nagging you about your performance
  • setting goals and work deadlines that are technically impossible to meet
  • excluding you from coworkers, not inviting you to social events
  • spreading slanderous rumors about you.
  • depriving you of training or promotion opportunities
  • constantly nagging you about your performance
  • setting goals and work deadlines that are technically impossible to meet
  • excluding you from coworkers, not inviting you to social events
  • spreading slanderous rumors about you.

What should you do if you are experiencing bullying at work?

You can talk to your supervisor about the different levels of relationships that exist at work. In general, relationships at work are more formal than among friends or family members. Some things that are said to close friends or family cannot be said at work, and some topics are not appropriate for discussion at work.

What people talk about at work and how they talk about it is sometimes called office chatter, and it is also a topic you can discuss with a mentor. Office chatter is a type of conversation between work colleagues, especially those who work in an open office. The National Autistic Society has published a book, Body Language and Communication, which offers advice on how to engage in this type of chatter. Typically, this is not a continuous conversation, but simply a series of short conversations that take place throughout the day. In doing so, people usually do not interrupt what they are doing. To join in the conversation, people stay at their desks and continue working as they go along.


More information for employees can be found HERE

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