Action You Can Take

As an individual, what can I do to tackle bullying at work?

Workplace bullying often takes place behind closed doors with no witnesses and no obvious evidence. Bullies will lie to save their skins and can be convincing, and will not hesitate to make their victims look and feel like fools if they complain about being bullied. (That's bullying too). Bullies have to be clever to get away with it, but you can be clever too. Here are some ways to deal with bullying at work:

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Grievance Letter

How to put your complaint into words

Updated October 2015

This page helps you set out a "grievance", which in an employment situation is an employee's complaint to their employer. Where employer and employee have a cooperative, reasonable relationship, grievances are unnecessary and some people get through their entire career without ever having to resort to them.

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Support and Discussion Forum

Bullyonline have operated their forum on yahoo groups for almost 20 years since Tim set it up and in that time have helped thousands of people.

We’ve been reviewing the volume of posts since the Foundation in Tim’s name was started and we sadly note it’s declined from the heyday of 2,000 posts a month to sometimes just a handful a month.

We've considered moving to another platform to be more relevant and accessible but couldn’t find one that would provide the level of privacy for our members with minimal admin input.

We’ve had an excellent and very dedicated moderator step down recently and having reviewed our options, we don’t feel at present we have the level of input required to keep the forum well moderated.

We’ve therefore sadly decided to close the forum and will block the ability to post messages at the end of May 2019.

We’d like to thank all present and past moderators for their unwavering support and dedication. It would have been impossible to keep this going for the 20 years without them giving up their time freely.

We wanted to ensure there are options in place so no one is left without much needed support. We already recommended the Family Lives Helpline on 0808 800 2222 and they’re open 9am – 9pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday. You can also call ACAS if the issue is more a legal one.

We’d also now like to signpost you to Family Lives' workplace bullying forum at They have both paid staff and volunteers, all trained to the same level so we are confident the support you need is there.

Family Lives now also provide an email service which is a great addition to their support services. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Standing Up for Yourself?

"Why don't you stand up for yourself?" is an oft-asked question. We're adults, aren't we?

In most cases, the bullying follows a two-phase procedure. Phase one is control which is exercised through constant trivial daily nit-picking criticism etc. Eventually there's a defining moment when the target realises that the criticisms have no validity and that they constitute bullying; the target asserts their right not to be bullied, perhaps by initiating a grievance, and the bullying moves into phase two: elimination, which is achieved by dismissal on false charges, ill-health retirement, forced resignation, redundancy, or death from suicide or heart attack due to prolonged negative stress.

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