ACAS on Workplace Bullying

ACAS on Workplace Bullying

ACAS statistics show that their helpline receives around 20,000 calls from employees relating to workplace bullying and harassment each year. An increase over the last 20 years of almost 50% in employers reporting that they have grievances involving workplace bullying further highlights that this is a growing problem with effects for both employees themselves as well as employers. The difference between workplace bullying and harassment - Employees may use the term Workplace Bullying & Workplace Harassment interchangeably when speaking of ill-treatment that they allege they have suffered in the workplace. However, they have distinctly different meanings in the eyes of the law. Harassment is behaviour that creates an intimidating or offensive environment for an employee which is related to a protected characteristic that the employee possesses e.g. their sex, age, disability etc. Bullying, on the other hand, is behaviour which creates the same environment but is not related to a protected characteristic. Acas guidance points out that the Equality Act 2010 prohibits harassment...
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ACAS Code Of Practice

ACAS Code Of Practice

As part of the advisory nature of Acas’ work, it publishes various statutory ACAS Code of Practice which provide guidance for employers undertaking certain procedures with their employees. The Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures is by far the Code with the most impact on employers simply because it deals with the everyday issue of conduct i.e. when employees break the rules. Status of the ACAS Code of practice - The Code in itself is not a piece of law; it does not create statutory requirements for employers on how they should operate a disciplinary or grievance procedure. It sets out basic practical guidance on, essentially, what an Employment Tribunal would like to see in a disciplinary or grievance procedure. Some parts are based on natural justice, to ensure that an employee has sufficient opportunity to defend himself if it is alleged that he has broken workplace rules. If an employer does not follow the detail of the Code in, for...
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ACAS ON CHRISTMAS PARTIES

ACAS ON CHRISTMAS PARTIES

You might think that the application of employment law stops on the way out of the office door but that isn’t the case, and there is no better example of this than the work’s Christmas party. The event can be a hot bed of potential for legal action that there is now guidance from ACAS on Christmas Parties for employers. Let’s take a look at where, according to Acas, the biggest problems can lie. ACAS ON CHRISTMAS PARTIES... Location - If your party will be held at your usual workplace, then it will be assumed that you will have already considered access routes into the building and whether these are suitable for those with disabilities. But if you hold the party at a bar or a club, for example, you should check first that it has suitable access any of your employees who have a disability. Check that their disabled toilets are in use too – often they can be used as cupboards for cleaning...
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Ageism in the workplace – A case study

Ageism in the workplace – A case study

A 60 year old gentleman applied for one of three posts with an organisation. After two interviews, and despite having several years’ experience in the industry, his application was rejected. The three successful candidates appointed to the posts were 38, 42 and 43. Is this a sign of ageism in the workplace? During interviews, the gentlemen had repeatedly been asked about whether, at the age of 60, he still had the necessary ‘motivation ‘ and ‘ drive ‘ to be successful in the post. A claim was brought to an industrial tribunal, alleging the organisation had discriminated against him on the grounds of Ageism in the workplace. The gentleman won his claim of Ageism in the workplace because the organisation had sought a candidate with ‘youthful enthusiasm’ when advertising the post. Together with the nature of questioning during the interview, and these factors combined, it clearly showed age had been taken into account when the organisation decided not to appoint him. Discrimination claims are uncapped at tribunal. Advice...
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