A recently available Court of Appeal decision regarding the Defense against Harassment Act makes it more difficult for employees to create famous brands bullying directors and senior managers to justice. This, however, does not mean that companies should shy away from taking a hard line against bullies on the job, particularly those who hold a measure of authority - those in senior or management position, for example.
Many Employment Law specialists are situated in agreement how the Court of Appeal has actually made it more difficult for staff to face an opportunity of winning a bullying claim with their latest ruling. But, despite this, employees still have lots of options in terms of bullying claims, therefore the ruling does not necessarily mean that companies can just settle-back and do nothing with the hope how the issue decreased into nothing.
Good legal services to companies would recommend that it is essential that you investigate and record all complaints and subsequent action thoroughly and interview everyone concerned, otherwise it's the company that might be around the receiving end of your claim, and not the one that is being held accountable.
A test case 2 yrs ago found that a staff member could successfully claim bullying under the Protection from Harassment Act should they could be incidents had happened on no less than two occasions. Nevertheless the Court of Appeal has since ruled these incidents must be 'oppressive and unacceptable, amounting to criminal conduct', rather than simply ill-tempered or inappropriate.
Even if this can be seen to point that the courts are now having a better made approach in determining what's harassment at work, there isn't any room for complacency if allegations of bullying are manufactured by staff. Complacency may be the distinction between quickly disproving any allegations of bullying produced by staff and entering into elongated, time-consuming legal battles.
A good way to do this would be to have an anti-bullying policy set up and be sure all staff are aware of it. If allegations of bullying are turned out to be true, it can be viewed as advisory to consider disciplinary action against those involved - if they are directors or shop-floor staff. In case a director is involved, make sure that your investigation just isn't considered a protective cover up in order to protect another part of the board. You need to also be sure that the one who is investigating the truth reaches a sufficiently senior level inside the company for his or her actions being taken seriously.
It is also worth paying regular awareness of updates and modifications in what the law states, even when it is only by reading the paper and checking several key websites for the most information, as the law is something which changes on a regular basis. As anybody who has dealt with them knows, legalities tend to be extremely complex and it's also always, therefore, worth seeking legal counsel from the reputable company in case you are in almost any doubt as to your location in terms of the present Protection from Harassment Act or, indeed, every other acts.