About this course
In partnership with:
Every employee has the right to be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace. Bullying and harassment of any kind should not be tolerated whether employees work at a fixed location, at home or on the move. Both employees and employers have a role to play in promoting a positive workplace culture free from bullying.
The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have developed a Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work which contains practical guidance on how to prevent and address workplace bullying.
It is vital that all employees have an understanding of what bullying is and how to address it. Training to prevent or at least minimise the risk of bullying in the workplace is a key part of the Code. Employers should provide workplace bullying training to all staff on commencement, together with regular refresher updates throughout their employment.
Legal Island has created a 45-minute eLearning course in partnership with Ogier, 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 and harassment in the workplace and explain what to do if employees are concerned.
This course has been recently updated and now includes the most recent bullying statistics from Ireland, a new ‘Meet the colleagues’ section, and information on how artificial intelligence can impact workplace 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 a survey carried out by the Dublin City University Anti-Bullying Centre which examined the prevalence and impact of workplace bullying in 2022, over a third (33%) of respondents claim to have been bullied at work within the past 3 years.
What is not considered bullying in the workplace?
The Code highlights a non-exhaustive list of what does not constitute bullying, which includes:
- Performance management
- Differences of opinion
- Constructive feedback
- Workplace conflict
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. Providing 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