By Alice Sholl

Workplace bullying on the rise according to Acas

stress,work-load

Workplace bullying is increasing as conciliation service Acas has said its helpline has received about 20,000 calls related to bullying and harassment over the past year.

Some callers said the problem was so bad they had considered committing suicide, according to an article on BT.

Bullying is more likely to affect minority ethnic workers in the public sector, women in male-dominated jobs, disabled people or lesbian, gay and transgender people, said Acas.

Some people seeking help said they dreaded going to work while others reported the problem had affected their home life.

Managers often just move staff around rather than deal with bullies, according to the research.

Victims said they were afraid to complain because they feared that would make matters even worse.

Acas chairman Sir Brendan Barber said: “Our analysis reveals that bullying is on the rise in Britain and it is more likely to be found in organisations that have poor workplace climates where this type of behaviour can become institutionalised.

“Callers to our helpline have experienced some horrific incidents around bullying that have included humiliation, ostracism, verbal and physical abuse.

“But managers sometimes dismiss accusations around bullying as simply personality or management-style clashes whilst others may recognise the problem but lack the confidence or skills to deal with it.

“Businesses should be taking workplace bullying very seriously as the annual economic impact of bullying-related absences, staff turnover and lost productivity is estimated to be almost £18 billion.”

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