Bullying & Unreasonable Behaviour Compensation Claims

ACAS describe bullying as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrateor injury the recipient. Should you suffer psychological distress as a result of bullying or unreasonable behaviour at work it may be possible to recover personal injury compensation.

In order to do so however it will be necessary to establish that:

  • The bullying or unreasonable behaviour arose as a direct consequence of your work rather than a relationship which developed through work;
  • The actions of which you complain were so closely linked to your work that the employer could be held liable for such action;
  • It was reasonably foreseeable that the actions complained of could give rise to a recognisable psychiatric injury;
  • That you have suffered a recognisable psychiatric condition as a direct consequence of such actions.

Bullying and harassment will often be used as interchangeable terms but there are important legal distinctions when seeking to pursue a personal injury compensation claim. An alternative to pursuing a claim for personal injury compensation may be to pursue a claim through the employment tribunal for bullying, harassment or discrimination.

There are certain distinctions between actions brought in the employment tribunal and a personal injury claim for bullying and unreasonable behaviour. Different levels of compensation may be awarded and in most cases it is not possible to recover the costs of pursuing a claim through the employment tribunal. This is not the case where a claim for personal injury compensation is successful at Court. Generally speaking separate claims cannot be brought in the tribunal and the County Court for the same complaint. As a consequence it is important that you obtain expert legal advice as to the most appropriate course of action to be taken.

See here for more information on bullying and harassment generally.