Get free advice from an expert with a 30 minute phone consultation

mm legal, mackinlay and suttie

Identifying Bullying

How to Identify Bullying at Work – and Manage this Effectively

We often associate bullying with school children, but bullying is also commonplace among adults; especially in the workplace. According to statistics, a worrying 23% of the UK workforce has suffered at the hands of bullies in the workplace; 25% have felt isolated and left out. Bullying in the workplace is often difficult to identify, as it can be as seemingly subtle as a few practical jokes here and there, failing to invite a member of staff to a work event or monitoring performance in an excessive way.

In some cases, the bully might not realise they are a bully until they confronted about bullying at work. A lack of awareness doesn’t make it right by any means, though. It isn’t always colleagues who are responsible for bullying in the workplace; it is quite often management and even direct bosses. Bullying by superiors can make it worse, as the victim may feel like there is nowhere to turn.

These are some common signs of bullying at work and ways to manage it.

Signs of Bullying at Work

Whether you are an authoritative figure in the workplace or not, it is essential to be aware of the signs of bullying at work. It may even be happening to you, in which case, you may want to look into  a bullying at work claim. These are some signs which could indicate bullying in the workplace.

  • Criticism – constant criticism in the workplace constitutes a form of bullying. It may include regular negative comments or feeling like someone is ‘nit-picking’ for no reason.

  • Isolation – not inviting someone to lunch or meetings may seem like a harmless action, but this is isolation and is another form of bullying. Unfortunately, this one is all too common in the workplace.

  • Gossiping – talking about someone behind their back to other colleagues can also be defined as a form of bullying.

  • Heavy workload – workers should never feel under pressure and being inundated with an unmanageable workload could be a form of bullying in the workplace.

  • Physical Harm – being physically attacked or outright verbally assaulted in the workplace, is also bullying.

These are just some forms of bullying at work, there are many more, and it is essential to be aware of the signs.

How to Manage Bullying in the Workplace

Bullying can be highly damaging to the victim and can cause psychological problems. It can leave the victim feeling worried and anxious about being in the workplace. If you are suffering at the hands of a bully, you may want to confront them first and let them know how they are making you feel. They may not realise what they are doing, and this can give them a chance to rectify their behaviour. The next step would be to speak to a manager or a professional within employment law. If you feel that someone is suffering at the hands of a bully in the workplace, you may want to speak to the victim in the first instance and seek professional advice from an outside organisation.

At MM Legal, we can provide bullying at work legal advice in a safe and confidential environment. If you have any questions, please book in for a free zoom consultation with me Ramiza Mohammed, experienced employment lawyer and CIPD accredited HR professional now.

Send an email to or find out more here.