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Half the population are bullied ... most only recognize it when they read this

Bullying and the law
Bullying, laws and the legal system

"In England, justice is open to all, like the Ritz hotel."
James Mathew

On this page
Areas of UK bullying law
European bullying laws | Australian bullying law
Statement of legal position | Victimization at work
Inadequacy of existing UK law in cases of bullying | Links
New! How the legal system is used to bully people
On separate pages
Case law and settlements

UK Dignity at Work Bill | Swedish law on Victimization at Work
UK Lord Chancellor's Department - useful links to legal resources

The following areas of UK and EC law apply to bullying although some of those at the end of the list are at present untested:

applies to all companies regardless of the number of employees
statutory grievance and disciplinary & dismissal procedures
employees have a right to written particulars of employment
automatic unfair dismissal if employers fail to follow the obligations of the Act
compensation may be varied by up to 50% if either side has not followed procedures
implementation delayed until April 2004

Statutory Instruments

If you're a UK public sector employee you may be able to make use of Statutory Instrument No 1680 Local Government (Discretionary Payments) Regulations 1996 to get your pension increased to 85% of normal earnings.

Academic statutes

Under university statutes a lecturer has the the right of appeal against unfair dismissal. The statutes are derived from the model statutes in the 1988 Education Reform Act. The advantage of this course of action is that unlike unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal it is not subject to a compensation ceiling, thus the statutes generally give academics more rights than they have under the Employment Rights Act. For example, universities are required in all cases to apply the principles of justice and fairness, there are specific procedures that they are required to follow, and there is a guarantee that people will not be dismissed or placed under threat of dismissal for their opinions. The university has to appoint (and pay) a QC to hear the appeal, on top of their own lawyers.

Bills in progress

Bills proposed but not in progress

In 1999, the two-year qualifying period has been cut to one year and the 12K limit on compensation for unfair and constructive dismissal will be raised to 50K in October. In the next few years, the Dignity at Work Bill (see Resources on Links page) or something equivalent may become law. This will be the first piece of legislation designed to deal with bullying and will enable a bullied individual, as a last resort, to take their employer to Employment Tribunal in the same manner as for sex and race discrimination and harassment.

The Amicus trade union is campaigning to make the Dignity at Work Bill law.

Other European law

Sweden is the only country in Europe with legislation specific to bullying:

Law in Australia

From 15 August 2005 employers in South Australia can be fined up to $100,000 for failing to "adequately manage" bullying behaviour. [More]

Statement of legal position

If you are considering legal action as a result of detriment caused by bullying, this statement may be of use to you when preparing your case and instructing solicitors (who may not have this knowledge). If you are an employer, the bully is choosing to behave in a manner in which you may be vicariously liable under the following areas of law.

Include this introductory paragraph to educate those reading your statement:

The purpose of bullying is to hide inadequacy. By choosing to bully, a person is choosing to reveal their inadequacy, and the extent to which a person chooses to bully can be used as a measure of their inadequacy. The bully projects their inadequacy on to others a) to avoid facing up to their inadequacy and doing something about it, b) to avoid accepting responsibility for their behaviour and the effect it has on others, and c) most importantly, to distract and divert attention away from their inadequacy. In a badly-managed or insecure workplace this is how inadequate and incompetent people keep their jobs. The bully's projection is maintained with compulsive lying, a Jekyll and Hyde nature, and charm. The purpose of charm is deception. The validity of the bully's testimony in disciplinary procedures, appeal hearings, tribunal and court proceedings (under oath) cannot be relied on.

Click here to see the profile of the serial bully; you may wish to include the page in your legal case.

The following areas of law are those which I have identified as being relevant in cases of bullying. Some of this is speculative, and many solicitors and barristers are not experienced in this type of action. As of November 2002, there is no law against bullying - you have to massage your case to fit the law. In most cases, it seems to be the threat of legal action, plus the implied threat of lots of bad publicity to accompany that legal action, that brings the employer to the negotiating table. The purpose of bullying is to hide inadequacy, and people who bully are often incompetent; it's surprising how willing some employers are to make a generous settlement to keep that incompetence a secret. This is not good industrial relations, neither is it good use of shareholders' or taxpayers' money, but that's the way it is at present.

You have 12 weeks in which to register for a tribunal, 6 years in which to bring a breach of contract action, and 3 years in which to start a personal injury action. The time limits are rigidly enforced.

Preparing for employment tribunal in the UK
The Equal Opportunities Commission run a website for anyone involved in tribunals (the site is geared towards sexual harassment and sex discrimination but the process is the same): http://www.eoc-law.org.uk/

Weighing the Evidence
An article (pages 4-7) on preparing for employment tribunal.

Breach of contract
Every employee is entitled to a (written) contract of employment which states what both employer and employee expect of each other. The contract (even if it is not in writing) is valid only whilst both parties behave in a trustworthy manner - this is the "implied term". Bullying is a breach of this implied term of mutual trust and confidence.

Constructive or unfair dismissal - Employment Rights Act (1996)
You may wish to phrase your grievance in the following terms (modify as appropriate): Over the last xx months/years, you have chosen to bully, harass and victimise me. Your behaviour towards me has resulted in me considering resignation for the sake of my physical, psychological and professional well-being. You have subjected me to constant criticism, nit-picking and fault-finding, and whilst you claim these were to do with alleged lack of performance, the specious, insubstantive, distorted and fabricated nature of your criticisms reveals that they are really for control and subjugation. This is one of the tactics by which bullies identify and reveal themselves. Your behaviour has prevented my from fulfilling my duties, is not in the interests of the employer or of shareholders, and by choosing to behave in the way you have done, you have brought yourself, the staff, and the employer into disrepute.

If you are in the process of being unfairly dismissed, and especially if your employer is not following the correct disciplinary procedures for dismissal, you may be able to apply for a High Court injunction to prevent the dismissal. For a sample injunction, click here.

Breach of contract
Constructive or unfair dismissal itself constitutes a breach of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence.

Breach of duty of care - Health And Safety At Work Act (1974)
The bully's behaviour constitutes a breach of the employer's duty of care under the Health And Safety At Work Act 1974, whereby employers have a legal obligation to ensure both the physical and psychological wellbeing of their employees. The Act requires employers to provide both a safe place of work, and as far as is reasonably practical, a safe system of work. If, having brought a health and safety issue to the attention of the employer, the employer chooses not to take take action, they will be in breach of this Act. In high risk and high stress environments, the employer may be legally obliged to carry out a risk assessment.

Stress is not the employee's inability to cope with excessive demands but a consequence of the employer's failure to provide a safe system of work as required under this Act. Blaming the sufferer of stress for suffering stress is a deliberate attempt to divert attention from the cause of the stress and thus an admission of failure to fulfil this non-derogatable obligation of duty of care.

Breach of contract
Breach of duty of care itself constitutes breach of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence.

Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993 - victimization
Under this Act, if an employee reports a health and safety matter to their employer and is subsequently victimized for doing so, a tribunal is empowered (under the ERA s44) to award substantial compensation. In addition to health and safety matters, victimization may be on the grounds of Sunday working, pension fund trustees, or employee (union) representation. You can claim victimization from day 2 of your employment (ie no qualifying period) and there are no limits on compensation.

Victimization is where an employee suffers detriment; the word "detriment" is not defined in the Employment Rights Act and thus can be interpreted widely. An employee is subjected to a detriment if he or she is put at a disadvantage. To prove disadvantage you will need to identify a comparator, which may be hypothetical or actual. If an employee is worse off (eg because of his or her position vis--vis health and safety, or union membership or non-membership) than a comparable fellow employee, then he or she is at a disadvantage and has thus suffered a detriment.

The serial bully is a danger to the health and safety of any individual with whom he or she comes into contact. Most serial bullies have a psychotic lack of insight into their behaviour and its effect on other people, and thus have a track record of destroying employees (in the bully's department, find out the levels of staff turnover, sickness absence, stress breakdowns, early or ill-health retirements, suicides, deaths in service, grievance and disciplinary actions, etc). For further insight, see the three pages on the serial bully, the injury to health caused by stress, and the psychiatric injury (PTSD) caused by bullying.

Unfair dismissal for blowing the whistle
A worker may take his employer to tribunal for any detriment (dismissal, redundancy, etc) after the worker makes a disclosure (ie blows the whistle) relating to:

and where information is likely to be deliberately concealed, provided that the worker

Race Relations Act (1976)
If the bully and target have different skin colour or are of different racial, ethnic or cultural origin (which includes prejudices within the same country or language, eg Londoner versus Geordie, or English versus Irish), it may be possible to claim racial harassment or racial discrimination. Remember that bullying is behind all forms of harassment and discrimination.

Sex Discrimination Act (1975)
If the bully and target are of different genders or different sexual orientation, it may be possible to claim sexual harassment or sexual discrimination. Look for other clues, eg all new jobs or promotions going to people of the same gender. Remember that bullying is behind all forms of harassment and discrimination. Most serial bullies have inappropriate attitudes to sexual behaviour and often commit, albeit clandestinely, acts of sexual harassment and sex discrimination. Some serial bullies are thought to be sexual abusers or violent partners.

Disability Discrimination Act (1995)
If the target of bullying has a recognised disability (anything in ICD-10 or DSM-IV which a GP or consultant is prepared to put in writing), and this disability is known to the employer, if may be possible to bring a case under this Act. This includes "stress and anxiety caused by work". Bullying causes psychiatric injury (diagnosis Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Prolonged Duress Stress Disorder (PDSD)), therefore once the bully - and the employer - are alerted to the symptoms, continued bullying could be a breach of this Act. For more information on how bullying causes PTSD, see the page on bullying and PTSD. You can use this Act from the second day of employment and you don't have to resign in order to start tribunal proceedings.

European Working Time Directive
This directive limits the working week to 48 hours. There are exceptions and employees can "voluntarily" sign away their right to not have to work more than 48 hours per week.

Negligence
After Waters v. London Metropolitan Police (27 July 2000) it is now legally possible to sue for negligence for the psychiatric injury resulting from the employer's failure to protect employees from bullying, harassment and victimisation.

Personal injury
You may wish to base your claim on the phrase The current state of my physical and mental wellbeing is a direct consequence of your behaviour towards me during the last xx months/years. Bullying causes psychiatric injury and your behaviour towards me has resulted in the conditions being satisfied for pursuance of a personal injury claim.

The regular, unwarranted criticisms of your performance, the imposition of verbal and written warnings, and many other tactics the bully has used to undermine you are all in the course of both you and the bully carrying out your duties. The bully's behaviour is thus DELIBERATE and therefore are acts of MALICE. Emphasise this in your case. If your bully has a string of targets before you, highlight this pattern to emphasise the habitude, deliberateness and malice; also emphasise the serial nature of bullying and therefore the predictability and foreseeability of this individual's behaviour and the effect it has on all his or her targets. It is the pattern of incidents which reveals intent. If you or a colleague have highlighted the danger posed by the serial bully's behaviour, and the employer has chosen to take no action, then if you continue to suffer detriment then the employer is guilty of negligence. Make contact with as many predecessors as possible and get written statements about the bully's behaviour. For information and insight into the psychiatric injury caused by bullying, see the PTSD page. To pursue a personal injury case you will at present almost certainly need a diagnosis of PTSD from a specialist or consultant.

Note that in the wake of Sheriff v. Klyne Tugs (Lowestoft) Ltd, personal injury arising from bullying, harassment and discrimination must now be handled at the employment tribunal.

Contempt of court
Once Industrial Tribunal proceedings have been started, any attempt by the bully or the employer to warn off witnesses (eg by threatening them with loss of job) could be seen as a contempt of court. If this happens, inform the Tribunal in writing.

Before you decide that Tribunal is your only option, get written statements from colleagues. If your colleagues won't give you a statement, get something in writing from everyone even if it says can't or don't want to help you. It's important to do this as early as possible, preferably before you start legal action. Once legal action is under way, write to all your colleagues again asking for their support and a statement. Many will melt away or change their mind; it's the pattern of initially supporting you then withdrawing later that can be used to indicate intimidation.

Breach of human rights
The following could be seen as a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights:

Protection from Harassment Act (1997)
This Act might be of use if the bully regularly harasses you (or members of your family), eg making regular phone calls to you at home when you are on annual leave, on sick leave, or - especially - when you are on compassionate leave, and especially if the calls are at unsocial hours. Breach of confidentiality could be regarded as an act of harassment, as could denial of your right to representation at meetings etc. Making unfounded criticisms, allegations or accusations and refusing to substantiate them in writing with substantive and quantifiable evidence is also harassment. Keep a diary. The DTI recommend using the Protection from Harassment Act against bullies in the workplace, although in reality the Act is designed to deal with stalkers.

In the Protection from Harassment Act, for the first time in UK law, it's the target's perception of the harassment rather than the perpetrator's alleged intent which is significant.

Common Assault
In the UK in March 1997 a 16-year-old girl was convicted of common assault for bullying, which was all verbal with little or no physical contact. This case sets a precedent in UK law that assault can be psychological as well as physical. You will need to report the bullying to the police quickly. The police may not be interested, but persist.

Defamation of character
The bully's inaccurate and vindictive assessments of their target could form the basis of legal action for defamation of character. The employers' claim that you are suffering a mental illness when you are psychiatrically injured might also constitute defamation of character.

Libel (written) and slander (spoken)
Ditto.

Stigma damages
Having been bullied out of your job you now have the stigma of loss of job, unfair or constructive dismissal, a record of ill health (stress and psychiatric injury), and the fact that you have had to take legal action against a former employer. These facts will very likely debar you from gaining further employment. (See Malik v. BCCI, House of Lords, 12 June 1997)

Injury to feelings
Being bullied out of your job by a sociopathic bully and suffering consequent ill health and detriment places you in the position of seeking damages for injury to feelings. See Johnson v. Unisys and Dunnachie v. Kingston-upon-Hull City Council.

Corporate manslaughter
For a prosecution to be brought under the proposed Corporate Manslaughter Bill, then it must be shown that

Notes
1.) Tribunals place great emphasis on whether you have followed every option open to you, especially employer's dispute procedures - where employers have such procedures. If you have followed the procedures, and they haven't worked, this is a point in your favour. If you haven't, the Tribunal may reject your case on this point. Tribunals are not interested in whether employers' procedures are fair or whether they work - they are only interested in whether you've followed them. A study by Manchester School of Management in 1998 found that of 165 tribunal decisions, in every case where the employer had no formal procedures, the employer lost. The grievance procedure is unlikely to resolve a case of bullying, but it gives you the opportunity to a) bring all the bullying behaviour out into the open and b) to alert the employer to what is happening. Whilst the employer may be able to claim ignorance on the first occasion, if it has been brought to their attention and they have chosen to take no action, your case - and the cases of those who follow - are strengthened. Also remember that Tribunals can only make judgements under existing law; if they do otherwise, the case will be overturned on appeal.

2.) If you are dismissed on grounds of ill health where the cause of your ill health is psychiatric injury resulting from bullying, it should be possible to initiate action for breach of contract, unfair dismissal, breach of contract for unfair dismissal, breach of duty of care, breach of contract for breach of duty of care, discrimination on the grounds of ill health caused by the bully in the course of carrying out duties of employment, and personal injury. Some unions and High Street solicitors will advise you that you don't have a case; beware of such advice, which can be misleading. Fighting this type of case is difficult but not impossible. Make up your own mind after reading everything on this site.

3.) In your tribunal application (form IT1) state I wish to clear my name. When the employer's solicitors try to bully you into an out-of-court settlement on the day of the tribunal, you can point out that accepting a settlement does not clear your name.

4.) Most applicants are coerced into signing a gagging clause in return for an out-of-court settlement. The legality of a gagging clause is dubious. The purpose of the gagging clause is usually twofold: 1) to prevent you from taking any further legal action and 2) to prevent you from talking about the case publicly. Abuse thrives on silence. If you are placed in this position, you might consider a) only agreeing not to take further legal action in respect of your existing claim, and b) offering to accept the gagging clause in return for the defendant adding a zero to the sum offered. If you are being coerced into signing a gagging clause, this is what it is worth to the employer. Never accept any condition without gaining something in return - this is standard negotiating practice. Most bullying cases, especially if you are dealing with a serial bully, have a can of worms behind them. Employers who support and defend serial bullies have a lot to hide. You are suffering detriment for the rest of your working life - if, that is, you ever manage to get another job; make sure the defendant compensates you adequately for this detriment. Do not allow your naivety (which has been artificially stimulated by the traumatic stress you have experienced) to cloud your judgement on this issue. Contact us for some suitable words and phrases.

5.) This information is for guidance only. No responsibility can be accepted. In all matters consult a competent professional.

Inadequacy of existing UK law

12-week tribunal application limit
Applications to industrial tribunal must be made within 12 weeks of loss of job or last act of harassment or discrimination. Although late application may be made, tribunals are strict and most late applications are rejected. Whilst this limit may have been sensible when originally drafted, it takes no account of targets of bullying who are suffering PTSD and who are too traumatised and too ill to initiate legal action, perhaps for a year or more (see page on PTSD for reasons; note diagnostic criteria B4, B5, C1, C2, C3, D3, E and F). See also case law - PTSD.

Now that personal injury arising from harassment and discrimination has to be dealt with by employment tribunal (Sheriff v. Klyne Tugs (Lowestoft) Ltd), anyone traumatised by bullying has very little chance of taking legal action to gain compensation for personal injury so caused. Many targets of bullying are so traumatised that they are unable to apply within the original 3-year personal injury time limit, let alone the 12-week tribunal limit.

The need to take account of the inappropriateness of time limits was expressed in the case of Kirk v. Kirk in Australia [File No LDR M10/1996 Judgement No 136/1997, Supreme Court of Tasmania, COX, CJ, Hobart, 28 October 1997 (hearing), 14 November 1997 (decision)] in which a female applicant was claiming damages for a road traffic accident, the severity of whose injuries prevented her from taking legal action within the prescribed time limit.

"As to delay, this has, I think, been satisfactorily explained. The injuries, both physical and emotional which flowed from the accident, produced a condition which explains why she could not bring herself to take the necessary action to protect her interests during the two year period she believed she had to commence proceedings. The deliberate decision not to proceed is clearly a relevant factor and one which, in many circumstances, would lead to the dismissal of such an application as this (cf Woolley v Jensen, B51/1994, Zeeman J). Nevertheless, if that decision arises from circumstances created by the alleged wrongdoer, it would not be just, in my view, to deny her a remedy on that score alone. In Hawkins v Clayton (1987-1988) 164 CLR 539 at 590, Deane J said:

"If a wrongful action or breach of duty by one person not only causes unlawful injury to another but, while its effect remains, effectively precludes that other from bringing proceedings to recover the damage to which he is entitled, that other person is doubly injured. There can be no acceptable or even sensible justification of a law which provides that to sustain the second injury will preclude recovery of damages for the first. It would, eg, be a travesty of justice and common sense if the law provided that a cause of action lay for damages for false imprisonment but then went on to provide that that cause of action would be lost if the false imprisonment continued for six years after the cause of action first accrued. Likewise, it would be a travesty of justice and common sense if the law imposed a duty upon a solicitor to take positive steps to inform a third person of the contents of a document of which the solicitor was alone aware and then provided that any cause of action against the solicitor for damage caused by a negligent failure to perform that duty would be lost if the negligence continued for six years. It is arguable that the notion of unconscionable reliance upon the provisions of a Statute of Limitations which provides the foundation of the long-established equitable jurisdiction to grant relief in a case of concealment of a cause of action until after the limitation period has expired (cf s 55(1) of the Limitation Act) should, by analogy, be extended to cover cases such as these where the wrongful act at the one time inflicts the injury and, while its effect remains, precludes the bringing of an action for damages. It seems to me, however, that the preferable approach is to recognize that it could not have been the legislative intent that the effect of provisions such as s 14(1) of the Limitation Act should be that a cause of action for a wrongful act should be barred by lapse of time during a period in which the wrongful act itself effectively precluded the bringing of proceedings."

One year qualifying period
Currently, one must be employed for one year continuously with the same employer before you can bring a claim of unfair or constructive dismissal. (In 1999, this was reduced from 2 years.) Many employees do not have one years' qualifying experience, and with increasing numbers of workers on short-term contracts, many employers respond by making contracts shorter in order to keep people outside the one-year qualifying period.
The qualifying period needs to be abolished, with the tribunal taking length of service into account.

Limit on compensation of 50K
The current limit on compensation for unfair or constructive dismissal is 50K. In most cases, the award is less than one sixth this figure, and won't even pay the solicitor's bill. With benefit clawbacks, the Applicant may end up significantly out of pocket whatever the result. Many bullying cases result in the loss of job, career, livelihood, and health; many also result in loss of marriage, family, and home. Many cases merit a six-figure sum; the worst merit a seven-figure sum.

Misuse of costs warning at pre-hearing review
A tribunal pre-hearing review may be ordered if one side is thought to have a weak case. The tribunal chairman will listen to the arguments (but not the evidence) and decide if a case is weak; if it is, a deposit of up to 150 will be required. The side with the "weak" case may still proceed, but if the case is subsequently lost, costs - which may be in six figures, and will certainly be artificially inflated by use of barristers etc - may be awarded against them. Whilst the pre-hearing review is intended to weed out the frivolous cases, it is also open to abuse. The possibility exists that a tribunal chairman and respondent's chief executive or director could collude and abuse the pre-hearing review with the objective of dissuading an applicant from proceeding and thus preventing the case coming to tribunal. This was not the original intention of the pre-hearing review. Were the chairman and respondent shown to have shared interests or an allegiance of fraternity, such behaviour could be regarded an attempt to pervert the course of justice. The secretive nature of such fraternisation means that no evidence of collusion would be available. However, justice would not be seen to be done and in this type of case any legal decision would be seen as unsafe.

The criteria for judging "weakness" seem imprecise and also seem to vary around the UK. Employers' solicitors (and barristers - abusive employers have no hesitation paying thousands of pounds of taxpayers' or shareholders' money to prevent cases from going to tribunal) are interested exclusively in gaining a result for their client; truth and justice are incidental. Usually, the worse the bullying, the more abusive the employer. The purpose of bullying is to hide inadequacy, and those who bully to hide their inadequacy are often incompetent, which explains the extraordinary lengths to which abusive employers will go to prevent cases coming to court. Many bullying cases conceal a can of worms.

Constructive dismissal
The nearest area of law to bullying is constructive dismissal: the conduct of the employer was such that you had no option other than to resign for the sake of your physical, mental, emotional and professional well-being. However, in order to be able to claim constructive dismissal you must have resigned from your job; having resigned, the bullied person is without job, without income, without access to records, and without references. The person probably now has a long period of sickness absence to account for to a prospective employer, and has to explain why they had to leave their previous job.

If the person gains another job, compensation is minimal and there is no compensation for distress or injury to feelings. If the person is unable to find further employment (due to ill-health caused by the bullying, lack of reference, plus the fact that preparing for a tribunal is a full-time job in itself) then the employer can claim that the former employee has "failed to mitigate their loss" (ie deliberately not looked for another job, the inference is one of malingering) and the tribunal may be deceived into reducing compensation. All in all, the person may end up with a legal battle of between 1-2 years with prospect of gaining only around 3000 which probably won't cover the solicitor's bill. Also, how many employers are going to employ a person who has been out of the workplace for a year and who has taken their former employer to tribunal? The inference is that they are "clearly a troublemaker".

The law needs amending such that an employee does not have to resign in order to claim constructive dismissal.

No law against bullying
At the moment, there is no law against bullying; you have to identify the nearest areas of law and base your case on them. However, if a person does not have an obvious disability and is the same race and gender as the bully, one is paradoxically discriminated against in UK law by not being covered by discrimination law. Amicus (formerly the MSF union) have proposed the Dignity at Work Bill to address this anomaly.

Right to be accompanied

In September 2000 new provisions under the Employment Rights Act 1999 come into force whereby workers have a right to be accompanied at disciplinary or grievance meetings. However, the provisions are flawed as the person chosen can only be a fellow worker or trade union rep or official. In most bullying cases, fellow workers are too scared to speak out or support someone being bullied, and in the majority of cases reported to the UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line and Bully Online, the trade union rep has already refused to support their member. For more on trade unions' failure to support members in cases of bullying and stress click here. Neither is it clear what the worker's rights are in situations where there is no union, or where workers have been warned off union membership by the implied threat of reorganisation (ie redundancy) if they join a union.

Gays and lesbians
At the moment, employers may legally discriminate against gays and lesbians.


Links

Law centres in the UK provide access to free legal advice.

UK Bar Pro Bono Unit: http://www.barprobono.org.uk/navigate/home.html

Croner's employment law is at http://www.croner.co.uk/ and has free registration for access to their search engine.

UK Lord Chancellor's Department - useful links to legal resources

UK Employment Appeal Tribunal information and judgements.

Legal Junction provides link to site with legal information.

The British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII) provides online information on tribunal and court cases.

The Association of Child Abuse Lawyers is a non-profit organisation which provides practical support for lawyers and other professionals working for adults & children who have been abused.

The provisions of the Protection from Harassment Act in relation to bullying and harassment at work are described on the web site http://www.harassment-law.co.uk

Employment Law on a Disc main index, including bullying and harassment.

Gillian Kelly's web site at http://www.telecoms.net/law/index.html looks at the development of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and legal recognition thereof.


How the legal system is used to bully people

Abuse of medical assessments to dismiss whistleblowers. Referrals to psychiatrists and diagnoses of mental illness can be used to get rid of whistleblowers: http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/documents/psychiatry.html

Battered plaintiffs - injuries from hired guns and compliant courts, on whistleblowers' problems with psychiatrists and lawyers by Jean Lennane: http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/documents/Lennane_battered.html

People who blow the whistle have the highest levels of integrity, moral courage and values, and are now being recognised as such: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3485348.stm

Awareness training for victims of legal and government abuse: the stress of living in highly regulated societies, with a predatory legal system results in a population which reflects the mental conditions of wounded, exploited, and bullied people: http://www.newswithviews.com/guest_opinion/guest70.htm


Tim Field is not a legal professional and regrets he is not able to act as an expert witness. Information is given in good faith but no responsibility can be accepted. In all matters consult a competent qualified professional.


Where now?
Lots of information and ideas for tackling bullying including the legal aspects
Action Home Page | Action to tackle bullying
Guidance for employers on policy development
Bullying and the trade unions | Bullying and the law
Case law on bullying, harassment, stress and personal injury
Court judgements in cases relevant to bullying
Long v. Mercury Mobile Communications Services
Hatton Barber et al: 16 practical propositions for a personal injury case
Right to be accompanied | The need for risk assessment
High Court injunction to prevent unfair dismissal | Obstruction to justice
Bullyonline action forum for validation and re-empowerment
UK Dignity at Work Bill | Swedish law on Victimization at Work
Bullying and human rights | Waters v. London Metropolitan Police
Barber v. Somerset County Council
Zimmerman: retaliation in the US courts
Bullying history: books, articles and publications since 1992
How to lobby your MP: example letter and summary of inadequacy of UK law
Amicus Campaign Against Bullying At Work (CABAW)
Tim Field's written submission to the Dignity at Work Bill debate
Getting another job after bullying | How to recover from bullying
Setting up a bullying survivor support group | Sample support group constitution
Using the search engines to find other sites on bullying etc
Dealing with viruses, worms, spam etc
Designing and building your own web site
Advice and guidance for new Internet users
Tim Field's book Bully in sight validates the experience of bullying and
defines the injury to health caused by bullying and harassment

Home Pages
The Field Foundation | Bully OnLine
Workplace bullying | School bullying | Family bullying
Bullying news | Press and media centre
Bullying case histories | Bullying resources
Stress and PTSD
Action to tackle bullying | Related issues

Success Unlimited
Books on bullying and psychiatric injury