Management – Preventing Violence and Harassment in the Workplace
Any form of harassment and violence at work, whether it is committed by co-workers, managers or third-parties like customers or suppliers, is unacceptable.
As well as being wrong ethically, it affects the physical and psychological health of those involved. Yet according to the British Crime Survey (BCS) in 2006/07, there were an estimated 684,000 workplace incidents, (288,000 assaults and 397,000 threats of violence).
Tolerance, diversity, dignity and respect are benchmarks for business and organizational success, so it is in a manager’s interest to identify and address the threat of harassment and violence in the workplace.
But there are legal duties too.
Employers and managers are required to protect the health and safety of all their workers,. Failure to deal with, and take reasonable steps to prevent, harassment and violence not only undermines business performance, it could be unlawful.
Employers and unions have a common, shared interest in preventing harassment and violence. And in 2007, the European Union social partners reached an agreement on the issue.
As a result in the UK, the Trades Union Congress (TUC),the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Partnership of Public Employers (PPE) for employers in the private and public sectors issued guidance to implement the agreement in the UK. This had the support of the Government, including the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
The aim of the agreement and the guidance is to;
• Raise awareness and increase the understanding of employers, workers and their representatives of workplace harassment
• Provide employers, workers and their representatives with a framework of response to identify, prevent and manage problems of harassment and all forms of violence at work.
You can find the guidance at this link http://www.hse.gov.uk/violence/preventing-workplace-harassment.pdf
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Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach. She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at email@example.com
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