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Bullying, Stress and Sickness Absence


The background

Bullying must stop

Stress at Work

Stress at Work UNISON guide 2014 (pdf)

Bullying is persistent, intimidating and humiliating behaviour. It is often face-to-face but can also occur in writing, by telephone, text messaging or email at work. Click here for UNISON's Bullying Q&As.Word doc

It can lead to stress, depression, lowered self-confidence and other serious health problems, often resulting in sickness absence and the loss of trained and experienced staff.

A recent UNISON survey revealed that 60% of workers have been bullied or witnessed bullying at work over the past six months. One in four workers said that staff cutbacks have led to workplace bullying – double the number from two years ago – and around half said they would be too scared to raise concerns during this time of job cuts.

The impact on the health of staff is enormous; it has led to mental stress, anxiety, anger and lowered motivation. However, due in part to the cuts climate more than half say they will stay in their jobs and suffer in silence – compared to only a quarter of staff in 2009.

This is why it is important that UNISON continues to campaign to ensure that bullying is recognised and dealt with by employers, and that UNISON safety reps are trained to support members who are bullied at work.

For more information, help and advice go to UNISON’s website at unison.org.uk.


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UNISON City of Edinburgh Local Government & Related Sectors Branch 1998-2008.
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More on this subject...
- UNISON advice on tackling bullying
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