Bullying in the Workplace Must Be Stamped out; IN PERSON

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Kitt TD

THE Celtic Tiger may be roaring as loud as it ever was.

But a large number of Irish workers are taking no joy in it.

It's thought that a massive one in 12 Irish workers are being bullied.

In 1999 the Government set up a task force to probe the situation. It has recently reported.

Here, Consumer Affairs Minister Tom Kitt outlines the Government's response to the report IF you're reading this newspaper in work, take a look around at your co-workers, and think of this - out of every 12 people you work with, one is being bullied.

Nearly one in 10 women in work are being bullied.

I am sure most of you will be surprised by those figures.

Many of us have pre-conceived notions that bullying only occurs in manual occupations.

However, that's not the case. Bullying in the workplace occurs in all sectors of society, such as education, health, public administration and financial services.

Bullying in the workplace is a serious issue, and to combat it we need to educate our workforce on the seriousness of the problem.

It is no longer acceptable that people are bullied in work.

I set up the Task Force on the Prevention of Workplace Bullying in September 1999.

The task force has representatives from the business community and unions.

The aims of this task force were to identify the size of the problem and the sectors most at risk, to develop practical programmes to prevent workplace bullying and to produce a co-ordinated response from the State agencies.

Last week I launched the Report on the Task Force on the Prevention of Workplace Bullying.

It found that existing legislation concering occupational health and safety, employment equality and industrial relations, offers a wide-ranging legal base from which the Government can assist employers and employees in developing a positive culture to deal with bullying.

This report recognises that bullying is a serious issue in the workplace, and that the prevention of bullying requires action and involvement at State level, at business level and at an individual level.

For the first time ever we now have a definition of workplace bullying. …