About this course
In partnership with:
In January 2021, the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) issued a new Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work (the “Code”). The Code applies to all employees in Ireland - those who work at a fixed location, at home or are mobile.
Training to prevent or at least minimise the risk of bullying in the workplace is a key part of the new Code. Employers should provide training to all staff on commencement, together with regular refresher updates throughout their employment. The Code emphasises the importance of consulting with staff when amending your workplace anti-bullying policy. This helps promote awareness of the policy and develop an anti-bullying culture in the workplace.
Legal Island has created a 45-minute eLearning course in partnership with Leman Solicitors, specifically for all employees in Ireland. The provision of this training for your staff will enable your organisation to act in compliance with the Code and help to raise awareness of bullying in the workplace and explain what to do if employees are concerned about bullying.
What is bullying in the workplace?
Bullying at work has been described in various ways. The Code defines bullying as:
“Repeated, inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity at work.“
According to an Equality and Discrimination Survey carried out by the Central Statistics Office in 2019, over a third (33%) of the national workforce claim to have experienced bullying or harassment at work.
What is not considered bullying in the workplace?
The Code highlights a non-exhaustive list of what does not constitute bullying, which includes:
- Ordinary performance management;
- differences of opinion;
- offering constructive feedback, guidance, or advice about work-related behaviour, even if this is not of itself welcome.
The Code also highlights while bullying and harassment are often referred to together, they are in fact, separate and distinct.
While it’s not ideal in any workplace, a once-off incident of disrespectful behaviour is not itself considered bullying but could be considered harassment if it falls under one of the nine grounds. These nine grounds are set out in the Employment Equality Act 1998-2015 and are gender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, race and membership of the Traveller community.
What is the purpose of this course?
The purpose of this course is to raise awareness of bullying in the workplace, identify bullying behaviour (and behaviour that is not considered bullying) and explain how to report bullying.
The course will outline the various roles referenced in the Code, including the Contact Person, who will act as the first point of contact for anyone making a bullying complaint. The course will also explain how organisations can ensure their anti-bullying policy complies with the Code. In this regard, it should be noted that a failure to comply with the Code is not an offence in and of itself, however, non-compliance with the Code can be relied upon in any legal proceedings including hearings before the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court. Having a policy that is not in line with the Code can also leave organisations vulnerable to criminal proceedings under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 if they have failed to provide their employees with a safe place of work.
Who needs this Workplace Bullying training?
Advice from top employment lawyers is that workplace bullying training is completed on day one of employment and then refreshed regularly to ensure all staff are aware of their roles and responsibilities in keeping the workplace harassment-free. Proving all staff with training will ensure a workplace where any conflict or issues around behaviours are dealt with, fairly and effectively.
Topics covered within the course include:
What is (and what is not) bullying at work
What is harassment at work
What are the effects of bullying at work
How to prevent bullying at work
What employees should do if they are concerned about bullying in their workplace