Work places are renowned for personality clashes, power struggles and difficult team dynamics, all of which often impact employees personally as well as professionally. However, difficult working relationships are sometimes more serious than a spat over a stapler or a disagreement in the business meeting. Difficult working relationships can have a serious detrimental impact on workers psychological wellbeing often leading to long term sickness problems, mental health problems and in extreme cases suicide. With such great risk to their staff, employers have a duty to respond and the possibility of workplace harassment can’t be ignored. But when is a difficult working relationship ‘just a personality clash’ and when can it be deemed harassment? Simply, the answer is when an individual feels victimised by another.
We have provided some common clues as to how to tell if you are being harassed at work –
- Being constantly criticised for work performance without provision of support, training or encouragement.
- Duties and responsibility removed or increased without good reason, or in line with job description or role progression.
- Receiving aggressive behaviour or threats.
- Being humiliated in front of others.
- Being in receipt of prejudice attitudes in respect of social class, gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion, disability or any other difference.
- Being ignored, victimised and excluded.
- Having malicious rumours spread, or personal information disclosed without your discretion.
- Feeling uncomfortable or intimidated by someone’s misuse of power or position.
- Making threats about job security without any basis or substance.
- Blocking promotion or progression.
- Not being informed of your employee rights or being given notifications to changes in employee contacts.