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Employment: Bullying

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 7 January 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to reduce levels of bullying in the workplace. (308153)

Existing legislation protects workers from the most serious kinds of bullying, for instance in cases of discrimination or harassment. The Government publish information and guidance on how this legislation can be used, and ACAS provides a nationwide telephone advice line offering assistance to employers and employees on bullying and other employment issues. These measures support the Government's policy aim that workers should be able to work without fear of being bullied or harassed by employers, fellow employees or anyone else.

Approximately £1 million was committed through DTIs Partnership at Work Fund to support a project on Dignity at Work/Bullying. The project, which completed in May 2008, was led by the Amicus section of Unite and included BAE Systems, Legal and General and British Airways as partners. The project promoted best practice and workplace initiatives to tackle bullying.

In November BIS was pleased to support the launch of new Guidance on Preventing Harassment and Violence in the Workplace prepared jointly by the CBI, (Confederation of British Industry), the PPE (Partnership of Public Employers) and TUC (Trades Union Congress in association with HSE (Health and Safety Executive), and ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service).

The joint guidance, issued following a Europe-wide agreement between employers' organisations and unions, aims to give practical help and support to firms and their employees.

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