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Anti-Bullying Week 2023:

Make A Noise About Bullying

Anti-Bullying Week 2023 is coordinated in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by the Anti-Bullying Alliance. This year it has the theme ‘Make A Noise About Bullying’ and will take place from Monday 13th to Friday 17th November. The week will be kicked off with Odd Socks Day on Monday 13th November, where adults and children wear odd socks to celebrate what makes us all unique.

The theme of Make A Noise About Bullying came about following consultation with teachers and pupils by the Anti-Bullying Alliance which coordinates Anti-Bullying Week every year in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Teachers and children wanted a theme that empowered them to do something positive to counter the harm and hurt that bullying causes.

Following the success of the campaign in 2022 – when 80% of schools marked the week, reaching over 7.5 million children and young people – Anti-Bullying Week will remind everyone whether it’s in school, at home, in the community or online, we can bring an end to bullying.

Bullying at Work

Although there is no legal definition of bullying, it can be described as unwanted behaviour from a person or group that is either:

offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting

an abuse or misuse of power that undermines, humiliates, or causes physical or emotional harm to someone

Bullying might:

be a regular pattern of behaviour or a one-off incident

happen face-to-face, on social media, in emails or calls

happen at work or in other work-related situations

not always be obvious or noticed by others

It’s possible someone might not know their behaviour is bullying. It can still be bullying even if they do not realise it or do not intend to bully someone.

Examples of bullying

Examples of bullying at work could include:

constantly criticising someone’s work

spreading malicious rumours about someone

constantly putting someone down in meetings

deliberately giving someone a heavier workload than everyone else

excluding someone from team social events

putting humiliating, offensive or threatening comments or photos on social media

Upward bullying

Bullying can also happen from staff towards someone more senior, for example a manager. This is sometimes called ‘upward bullying’ or ‘subordinate bullying’.

It can be from one employee or a group of employees.

Examples of upward bullying can include:

showing continued disrespect

refusing to complete tasks

spreading rumours

constantly undermining someone’s authority

doing things to make someone seem unskilled or unable to do their job properly

It can be difficult for someone in a senior role to realise they’re experiencing bullying behaviour from their staff.

It’s important to consider the real reasons for the behaviour. For example, there might be a wider issue with the culture of the organisation that can be identified and addressed.

Employer responsibilities

Employers and employees have a mutual duty to treat each other honestly and with respect.

This means employees have the right to:

have trust and confidence in their employer

expect not to be bullied at work

Employers have the right to:

expect employees not to bully each other

expect employees to treat their managers with respect and follow all reasonable instructions

Employers also have a legal duty of care to protect their employees from harm. This includes dealing with bullying issues.

Employers should:

do all they can to try to prevent bullying happening

take any bullying complaint seriously and look into it as soon as possible

For further information please click the link to ACAS 

Workplace bullying can contribute to increased stress, low self-esteem, and feelings of anxiety and depression.

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