Harassment at Work : Should you claim compensation?

If you are suffering harassment at work and it can be proved that your employer a) knew about it and b) did nothing to prevent it, then you should look into making a claim for compensation against your employer. UK law states that employers are responsible for the general safety of their employees while they are at work, this includes bullying and harassment.

In employment law the Equality Act 2010 provides protection but only if the harassment is as a result of a ‘protected characteristic’ which includes age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

Examples of harassment include:

  • inappropriate touching or comments,
  • being sworn at repeatedly,
  • being publicly humiliated or ridiculed,
  • being treated less favourably or ignored,
  • subjected to conduct designed to cause alarm or distress,
  • personal property deliberately damaged,
  • subjected to unrealistic deadlines, being ‘set up to fail’,
  • making fun of any disability that you may have.

We understand that it can be a daunting prospect when thinking about making a compensation claim against fellow workers and your employer; the very thought of it can cause even more stress and anxiety.

But you have every right to file a compensation claim for harassment at work, and it is important to remember that been harassed is not fair or right and is not your fault. In fact, filing for compensation will not only compensate you for your suffering but it could prevent other workers been treated in the same way that you have.

Some forms of harassment can seem very petty and isolated; minor incidents and one-off comments are unlikely to be seen as harassment in the eyes of the law, but frequent episodes of harassment or serious one-off events are unlawful, and you have the law behind you to help stop it.

We highly recommend that you document the harassment you have had directed at you with dates and times, and also that you raise a grievance against your employer; you will need to prove that your employer is negligent even after they are aware of the problem, know that you are vulnerable and have not made any attempts to remedy the situation.

More information can be found on our Bullying and Harassment page.

If you need any help or advice on a potential harassment claim then either call us now on 0844 499 9302 or email employ@michaellewin.co.uk to make a claim, or alternatively, click here to make a claim.

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