Dignity at Work - How to Respond to Bullying and Harassment

Dignity at Work - How to Respond to Bullying and Harassment

The list of organisations finding themselves in disrepute from alleged bullying and harassment practices reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of eminent employers.

For example, both Aer Lingus and the First National Building Society (now part of the Ulster Bank) have lost Chief Executives arising from incidents in this area, whilst luminaries like R.T.É., Dunnes Stores, Ryanair, An Post, Independent Newspapers, Atlantic Homecare, the Irish Blood Transfusion Service, Tesco, the Clarion Hotel, the Prison Service, Dublin City University and the health/hospital, education and local authority sectors have all found themselves enduring some notoriety arising from indignity at work allegations.

Indeed, even the establishment of the Charleton Tribunal of Inquiry arising from the Sergeant Maurice McCabe fiasco in An Garda Siochána, has brought the thorny topic of bullying and harassment at work back into the limelight again. And the WRC now regularly publishes the names of parties involved in equality cases before Workplace Adjudicators.

Why is this event important for YOU?

The extent of bullying at work may be reflected in a Samaritans’ survey across Ireland and Britain, which found that 4 out of 5 workers perceived themselves to have been bullied during their careers. Related to this, the decision of the UK’s employment tribunal to award £19m for bullying and harassment against F. & C. Asset Management sent shockwaves through employer ranks and far outstripped Irish headline cases in the area. These include the Marino Institute (€500,000 settlement) and O’Callaghan Hotels (€315,000 award) cases.

Whilst such sums may concentrate the mind, it is also notable that clinical psychologist Dr Mark Harrold recently estimated that the annual financial cost of workplace bullying in Ireland is €3bn, with ~100 suicides per annum allegedly attributable to this toxic treatment.

After attending you will:

This workshop is designed to support efforts in your organisation to ensure that all legal obligations are met and to achieve a safe and harmonious working environment, which encourages and supports the right to dignity at work.

It places a strong emphasis on prevention, to ensure that the work environment is one where people are valued for their individuality and diversity. The proposed programme has also been framed for the purpose of enabling participants to acquire the knowledge required to discharge their management function in a professional manner, serving also to minimise the prospect of legal action and their organisation’s exposure via vicarious liability.

In summary, the primary objective of this workshop is to provide participants with the necessary knowledge that is essential to the effective execution of their responsibilities under their organisation's dignity at work (i.e. bullying and harassment) policy and procedures. 

More value from this event

This isn't a sit-back-and-listen training course. It will be conducted on a highly interactive and participative basis, including the active involvement of participants via practical case studies and template documents/checklists and model policies for your use when you are back in the office. Electronic copies will be supplied to delegates after the event.

With an interactive workshop format, you will have the opportunity to pose all those questions that are on your mind in relation to workplace bullying & harassment and you’ll leave equipped with the tools used in dealing with complaints.

Keep in mind that in the case of Catlan Trading Limited v McGuinness (2017) the Labour Court effectively made the possession of a policy on Dignity/Bullying/Harassment mandatory. In the Court's judgement even small employers must comply with the requirements of the Equality Code of Practice:

“The Court is of the view that while the Code encourages employers to follow its recommendations in a way which is appropriate to their size and structure that does not exempt small or medium-sized enterprises from its recommendations… An employer who has taken such steps as set out in the Code to preventsexual, 

harassment or harassment, to reverse the effects of it and to prevent its recurrence, may avoid liability for such acts in any legal proceedings brought against them.”

The Labour Court continued:

“In order to avoid liability it is essential for the respondent to establish that it had in place, at the time at which the harassment occurred, arrangements intended to prevent and deal with the occurrence of such content.”

In other words, having a policy and other arrangements (such as trained managers) in place might help protect employers; having no policy in place means there is no defence possible and the employee should be awarded compensation.

Course overview/outline programme

This workshop has two open fora & interactive presentations, where participants consider key questions relating to:

  • Definitions, costs and the law on bullying & harassment
  • The implementation of bullying & harassment policies and procedures in the workplace

Who should attend?
This workshop is ideal for managers, trade union officials, HR professionals and others concerned with the implementation of dignity at work policies and procedures.

When and where?
9:00am - 1:30pm on Wednesday 4th December 2019
Radisson Blu Hotel, Dublin Airport

Standard Rate: €245
Early Bird Rate: €195 (deadline 5pm on Friday 25th October 2019)
Save an additional €20 if you pay online when booking.

If this event is taking place in a hotel and you require a bedroom for the night before or day of the event please get in touch. We work with all our hotels to offer a preferential delegate rate for overnight stays where possible. For more information please email vanessa@legal-island.com.


Early Bird Offer

Save up to €50

Event details


9:00am - 1:30pm


04 December 2019


Radisson Blu Hotel, Dublin Airport


Standard Rate: €245
Early Bird Rate: €195 (deadline 5pm on Friday 25th October 2019)
Save an additional €20 if you pay online when booking.