Bullying and Harassment

Bullying and harassment is behaviour that makes someone feel intimidated or offended. Harassment is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010.

Examples of bullying or harassing behaviour include:
•    spreading malicious rumours
•    unfair treatment
•    picking on someone
•    regularly undermining a competent worker
•    denying someone’s training or promotion opportunities

Bullying and harassment can happen:
•    face-to-face
•    by letter
•    by email
•    by phone
•    on social media

The law

Bullying itself isn’t against the law, but harassment is. This is when the unwanted behaviour is related to one of the following protected characteristics:
•    age
•    sex
•    disability
•    gender (including gender reassignment)
•    marriage and civil partnership
•    pregnancy and maternity
•    race
•    religion or belief
•    sexual orientation

Ministry of Defence Policy

It is MOD policy that all Service and civilian personnel, regardless of rank or grade, have a right to be treated with dignity and respect. All Service and civilian personnel also have a responsibility to do all they can to ensure that the working environment is free from all forms of bullying and harassment and that the dignity of others is respected. All personnel are to:
•    ensure that their own conduct does not amount to bullying or harassment
•    have the moral courage to challenge inappropriate behaviour
•    be prepared to support those who experience or witness bullying or harassment
•    report bullying or harassment against themselves or others

What employees should do if they’re bullied or harassed

Employees should see if they can sort out the problem informally first. If they can’t, they should talk to their:
•    manager
•    friend or work colleague
•    unit Equality and Diversity Adviser (EDA)
•    padre, chaplain, or other pastoral carer
•    unit medical officer or GP
•    Trade Union representative (for civilian staff)

Further information can be found in JSP 763 – The MOD Bullying and Harassment Complaints Procedures.

Help Lines. Personnel may also seek guidance from the following confidential support lines:
•    Service Personnel – SSAFA Forces Helpline:
UK    0800 731 4880     (free phone)
Opening hours are 0900-1730 weekdays. At other times there will be an answer machine.
•    Civilian Personnel
o    Occupational Welfare Service (for victims of bullying or harassment wanting someone to talk to)
 UK    0800 345 7047 (93345 7047)
 Opening hours are 0830-1630 Mon to Fri
o    People Service Centre (for general enquiries on MOD policy and the complaints procedures)
0800 345 7772 (93345 7772)
Opening hours are 0800-1700 Mon to Fri