Bullying at work

How to identify if you're being bullied at work, how to stop it and advice on getting support.

What is workplace bullying?

Bullying can involve arguments and rudeness, but it can also be more subtle. Excluding and ignoring people and their contribution, unacceptable criticisms and overloading people with work are other forms of bullying.

What effect does it have?

Bullying can make working life miserable. You lose all faith in yourself, you can feel ill and depressed, and find it hard to motivate yourself to work.

Bullying isn't always caused by people's tribal instincts, or someone picking on the weak. Sometimes a person's strengths in the workplace can make the bully feel threatened, and that triggers their behaviour.

What can I do?

Find yourself an ally. Don’t be ashamed to tell people what’s going on. Bullying is serious, and you need to let people know what’s happening so that they can help you. By sharing your experiences you may discover that it’s happening to other people too.

Get advice

Speak to someone about how you might deal with the problem informally. This person could be:

  • an employee representative, such as a trade union official
  • someone in the firm's human resources department
  • your manager or supervisor

Some employers have specially trained staff to help with bullying and harassment problems. They're sometimes called "harassment advisers". If the bullying is affecting your health, visit your GP.

Be strong

Recognise that criticism or personal remarks are not connected to your abilities. They reflect the bully's own weaknesses, and are meant to intimidate and control you. Stay calm, and don’t be tempted to explain your behaviour. Ask them to explain theirs.

Talk to the bully

The bullying may not be deliberate. If you can, talk to the person in question as they may not realise how their behaviour has affected you. Work out what to say beforehand. Describe what's been happening and why you object to it. Stay calm and be polite. If you don't want to talk to them yourself, ask someone else to do it for you.

Keep a diary

This is known as a contemporaneous record. It will be very useful if you decide to take action at a later stage. Try to talk calmly to the person who's bullying you and tell them that you find their behaviour unacceptable. Often, bullies retreat from people who stand up to them. If necessary, have an ally with you when you do this.

Make a formal complaint

Making a formal complaint is the next step if you can't solve the problem informally. To do this, you must follow your employer's grievance procedure.

What about legal action?

Sometimes the problem continues even after you've followed your employer's grievance procedure. If nothing is done to put things right, you can consider legal action, which may mean going to an employment tribunal. Get professional advice before taking this step. For more information about taking legal action, visit your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau.

It's not possible to go to an employment tribunal directly over bullying. Complaints can be made under laws covering discrimination and harassment. Find out more about the law covering workplace bullying from GOV.UK

Page last reviewed: 12/07/2014

Next review due: 12/07/2016


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The 54 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

rebel54 said on 24 May 2015

www.bully on line.org has loads of information to help when you are suffering from bullying. Join a union, check out their bullying policy before joining.

There is help out there don't struggle on your own, I know it is hard. We must stick together to beat the bullies.

Remember....it is not you, it is them!!

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Fred64 said on 19 May 2015

My experience was that in a NHS place of work but I worked for contractors.

A few years back I was targeted for over 6 months, because I spoke up about a certain colleagues unacceptable behaviour. This included not being spoken too, break times alone. The site manager (who took sides with the person I confronted), would give the bully all the nice jobs and I got left with all the awful chores. There would be no eye contact for me when the manager was talking about work issues. My emails from the manager did not include the smileys the others received. I felt very much in a corner alone.

This bully also went around the site telling lies to anyone who cared to listen.

I fought back with silence and dignity and came out okay. But, I saw other bullying simply because a boss did not like someone!

It is a disgrace and something needs to be done by the government to stop this kind of thing at work, in schools and the military.

At the end of the day people have taken their lives because of it! It is not acceptable anywhere.

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HCA 1970 said on 15 March 2015

im getting bullied by an agency nurse that picks fault with everything I do (im 4 months new in the department with very little training)...nobody else has issues or problems with me or my work but this paticular nurse has it in for me & has an unhealthy influence with the team leaders...never in my life have I ever dreaded going back to work on a Monday like I do about tomorrow....love my job but its a possibility I may have to move on :(

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kerry1300 said on 23 February 2015

I have been bullied at work and verbally abused for 7 months it got so bad i had to finish work this week end.i am seeing a doctor this morning what else can i do.help please

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User937629 said on 30 January 2015

I don't work in the NHS, but I have read some of the comments on here and I want help. I started working in a store 5 months ago, I don't know how much more I can take, there are me and 3 others and 2 off them are giving me help, I am being mentally abused every day. Today I had a meeting with the manager and after they had a word with the 2 in question, because they have worked there much longer than me they seem to be twisting it all on me, so bringing the management has made them worse. I cannot take much more it is affecting my health terribly. I am applying for other jobs because I cannot afford not to. The thing is I love my job as it helps people with needs, any help would be really appreciated. I have already had 2 nervous breakdown s and I can feel myself going down there again.

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HCA1972 said on 10 December 2014

I have experienced the same thing whilst working in the NHS and am still experiencing the after effects when I was forced to resign a few months ago.I raised valid concerns in the workplace due to poor patient practices I was witnessing. I have been suffering from a systematic campaign of workplace mobbing going back to at least 2013. I have been threatened with violence, called some terrible names in front of patients and families. My work has been sabotaged. Lies have been told about me. I have been systematically shouted at on a near daily basis. It got so bad I was so close to becoming suicidal. I have nearly suffered a mental breakdown over it.
My reputation has been tarnished. The Human Resources are there to protect the management. They are not there for the ordinary employee.
I have been reading some of the comments that have been left on this site by people who themselves have been bullied.
I suggest you do your research and look up workplace mobbing because this is what I suffered from and reading other peoples experiences on here and from what others are describing it sounds like mobbing. This is the most extreme form of emotional abuse there is.
The NHS do not recognise this but it is about time they do.
I will be starting a support group up in the near future because I would like to hear feedback from others who have suffered from Harassment and bullying in the workplace. I would like to gain a support network where survivors of workplace mobbing can share their experiences. Give each other support and lobby the Government into recognising that this is a serious problem that has and is still going on within the working environments.
I will end my post with the following.

Never be bullied into silence
Never allow yourself to be made a victim
Accept no one's definition of your life;
Define yourself.

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strongsurvivor said on 28 November 2014

I have been subjected to horrendous bullying in the NHS- I ended up leaving the job as felt I was on the brink of a breakdown. I have never experienced anything like it in my life and I'm just glad that I got through it in one piece. My bully was a band 6 who was directly above me- criticized everything that I did, every decision that I made, excluded me from conversations, mocked my input, badmouthed me to other therapists and also medical staff- and made out that the work of another band 5 on the team was far superior to my work. I really did not think that this behaviour went on in the work place-it is soo unacceptable, and just shows that some people should never be given power as it gives them the potential to pick on the weak. I did my best in the job but in the end had to leave. Walking out of a job is not easy, but I wish I had done it sooner. Towards the end of the ordeal I really dreaded going into work, and lost motivation for the role itself, which is saddening considering I was incredibly enthusiastic at the beginning. I can console myself with the fact that I know it is onwards and upwards for me, however for the therapists and medical "professionals" (ha!),they are stuck working in the worst hospital in Britain, and are most definitley complete losers of their respective professions. If someone is working in the nhs, where time and money are at the forefront of the agenda- and they have the energy and time to bully and scape goat somebody else, it says that the problem is with the bully and not the person who is being subjected to the abuse.

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None100 said on 03 November 2014

I don't work for nhs but want to let you know o have been bullied in the work place for the last 2 years.

I got to the stage where I could not take anymore therefore put a grievance in and then received tremendous pressure to drop the grievance. I agreed to a meeting with the person who was bullying me and the meeting was a car crash.

I have now been on the sick for 5 months. They are not willing to accept bullying and have now offered me options one being a settlement agreement to keep quiet.

I am on antidepressant from my GP and been referred to Mind from work and OH all are saying they need to sort the work place out so I can return to a safe environment. They are not willing to do this therefore have giving me a deadline date of 30th Nov to accept the pay off.

I have been consulting with a solicitor who has said I have ample evidence to take them to tribunal. Not sure if I could cope with this and really just want the whole ordeal to end and if I do accept settlement it will end.

The problem I have it's the deputy manager who is the bully and as everyone knows management stick together.

One thing I have learnt from this is do not allow anyone to bully you and if it does happen say something and font allow it to go one for the time I did.

I know I will not be returning to this work place although I have worked with them for 17 years and as a mature person this will affect my pension my health is more important. Once this is over I will start the next journey in my life what ever this may be.

Please do not allow anyone to bully you and if toy think you are being bullied ask the person why they are doing this. Don't allow yourself to get into the situation I have got to.

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C E Let said on 21 October 2014

Found choices good, but agree with the person who mentions bullying int he NHS itsself. I am on sick leave due to bullying by management within a very large NHS Trust. I am on sick now for my 5th week and continuing. I have been bullied in the NHS twice now and suffered one nervous breakdown, determined its not going to happen this time, but my physical symptoms have increased. Come on someone in the NHS get this sorted, management don't care about staff and don't care about patients nor understand staff or patients, as the nurse said on Question Time last week, get rid of them and the NHS will save a fortune, caring and experienced staff are leaving the NHS and its costing the NHS money while your staff are on sick leave too.

I for one don't like being off sick and care.

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worried12 said on 06 October 2014

bullying within the nhs needs to stop. it goes on way too much and other staff are acared to stand up for the one that has being bullied because they worry they will get the same, and some join in with the bully.
when will the NHS deal with this problems instead of just moving the one that's being bullied. I used to be strong and confident but now im a former shadow of myself due to bullying and the NHS and there handling of this horrid situation.

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Neeny22 said on 24 September 2014

I have been off work for two weeks now due to being bullied. It has cause me to have panic attacks and anxiety which I am now on medication for. I am 22 and the two women who are bullying me are 55 and 62. Pathetic right? Worst of all is that the woman who is 62 is my Line manager! I reported to her that the other lady was giving me a hard time. She texted the other lady and told her and made fun of me. How do I know this? One of them sent me a message by mistake, so thats how I caught them out.

Thats only the beginning, I get shouted at for things that have nothing to do with me, I get blamed for things that have nothing to do with me, if I'm not working every single Friday, Saturday and Sunday day shifts, I'm working Saturday nightshifts for weeks. They talk about me, they belittle me and intimidate me.

Thankfully during my time off I got a new job but the problem is, I have to go back and do my 2 weeks notice before leaving. I am absolutely petrified!! How am I going to cope?

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F440 said on 27 August 2014

Just want to get rid of some of the things I'm feeling really. I work in a very small office and one of the people I work with constantly nit picks and belittles me. My manager sometimes hears her but does nothing so I cant see the point of complaining. (I don't work for the NHS but this seemed like a good site)

I feel like a coward at the moment I really need to stand up to her but shes the one who teaches me my job so it's hard. I've only been there a short time and I just wish I could find something else and leave. I worked in a larger office before and got on with everyone and was good at my job I feel like I'm walking on eggshells most of the time, just waiting for the next comment or lecture. thanks for the opportunity to get this down and sorry for the rant.

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AnneT Dundee said on 16 May 2014

I am a teacher and my Head is a micro-manager and a bully. I suffer from depression and have an excellent counsellor. We have worked on strategies for standing up to him which on the whole work. I have been off work for 6 months with a severe bout of depression and should be getting back to work. But, he is even using that to be awkward by delaying my return with extra meetings. Like all bullies, he attacks when you are weak and it is subtle. I'm not sure how much more of it I can cope with.

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Rebble said on 24 February 2014

I'm not sure if I'm being bullied . The girl is my best friend but she called me names , throws stuff at me and hits me at times . I've told my parents but should I tell my teacher? It ALS has been going in for a while I've told her I'm serious but she still does it. Please tell me what I should do ??!

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helen00769 said on 24 February 2014

I work for the NHS as a specialist support worker. The class teacher has taken a dislike to me...for NO known reason. I work hard and go above and beyond my role to help out. No matter how hard I work, smile and be happy she has lied to my manager when she visits about me. She has said several things about my personality, demeanor and has said I broke a clinical procedure rule when I had not. These allegations have been recorded on my supervision paperwork . This teacher ignores me, turns her back to me and snaps. Unfortunately my manager has chosen to take her side and not mine. I feel really miserable as I love my job. What can I do if my manager wont listen to my side ?

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fedup123 said on 17 January 2014

Following on, the email said i could appeal within 10 days,does anyone know how i can do this as i havent done this to make her lose her job,just let them know and recognise what was happening,also i was doing all the work in the shop and she was taking all the credit. i cant believe nothing happens to her,does this mean they have completly ignored what was there in black and white regarding the thefts? also why did i bother opening my mouth about the bullying when it seems like they dont believe me,i even have photos of the bruise on my chest. can anyone help me get this across at appeal,all i want is for her to be disciplined and accept what she did was wrong and out of order?thankyou

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fedup123 said on 17 January 2014

Hi i am not with the NHS but stumbled on this while looking for some help with bullying. I have been a volunteer deputy manager with well known charity shop for almost three years.During that time i have been the target of verbal bullying,abuse of power etc from the manager,who i must say is thoroughly charming to everyone else so noone sees what she does to me. i love the shop and believe in the charitys cause and am a very sensitive person who finds it hard to mix in a busy place with lots of people so i stay because of that. i have gone over and above for this manager who is my best friend one day then like she hates me the next.i have covered days and hours when she doesnt feel like coming in! over the last year,things have got harder,she has searched my bag without my consent,pushed me so my chest was bruised,pointed and shouted in my face,used derogatory phrases such as "grow some balls,grow a backbone" etc etc. i have been in tears i cant remember how many times. i have also found out she has been taking things from the shop and what shes not keeping,has been listed on first her sons,then her daughters ebay account,. finally booked up the courage to go to area manager and h.r. They encouraged me to tell all and give printouts of the said items. she got suspended last week but i also couldnt go in the shop. They promised an investigation and that volunteers would be spoken to.I was even asked which ones i would like to be questioned,i left it open to them although did give the names of 2 who had witnessed things. today recieved an email saying suspension for her is lifted and no action will be taken against her,she gets her job back but our relationship has broken down so i can no longer volunteer at that shop. i am fuming,i have spoken to some volunteers who knew nothing other than we werent in the shop, and the 2 i had given also hadnt been asked anything.i am fuming,how can this be,i had 90 pages of incidents of her bullying and power abuse!

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liondee said on 07 January 2014

I have personally encountered bullying at work. When I started over three years ago as an apprentice I was bullied by a senior colleague because of my sexuality. I used to get all of the horrendous back chat, comments about my sexuality and I was victimised because of the way I am. I took this to my training company and HR department and they took the matter informally. It was resolved at that time but I've had tension with this colleague ever since. Now being a senior myself I have to train people, and one particular pregnant trainee decided to make a complaint about me because I kept asking how she was, and because she was upset with her personal life she was offended and decided to make a formal complaint about me. It obviously made me doubt myself, and I felt like she had done so because she didn't agree with my sexuality. Nothing come of it but it has still had a lasting effect. My senior colleague still bullys me, I've told my manager and they said there was nothing they can do because they were not present when anything was said. This depresses me because they always bully me when my manager isn't there. I asked to be moved, nothing they could do apparently. Recently I've had trouble with alcohol, I've had to go on a detox and I'm currently on medication and going through therapy for depression. My senior colleague makes a comment everytime I come in after an appointment. I have confronted them and asked them what their issue is and its only made things worse. On top of all the depression, alcoholism etc I'm still expected to train, do my job and I get critisied by the management for going to medical appointments. I've declared all of my issues with work and nothing seems to be done. Some of my colleagues are less inclined to talk to me because of what's happened. Not sure what to do?

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MrLem0n said on 17 December 2013

I have experienced bullying in many forms over the last three years. Overt and covert, people tallking about me behind my back telling lies about me to discredit me when I am very good at my job abd the people in question are very poor at theirs. The effect it has had is simply horrific as my performance dropped due to the stress caused by the thought that people may believe the lies. People telling me to my face publicly that most people have a problem with me while I know that most have a problem with the narcissistic bullies in my workplace not me. It seems that narcissists work well together when there is an easy target.
Research into bullying and attempting to tell your boss you are being bullied are of course futile. What manager want's to deal with bullying when they have to think about their football team and where they're holidaying. Simple really.
Don't expect any empathy, don't expect anyone to do something about it. I read below that HR is a management tool, dead right.
To all those that are bullied for being better human beings than their co-workers. Better workers no doubt too. Kudos!

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BlackMamba said on 23 November 2013

I'm going through something pretty similar to this just now, only in this instance it doesn't involve the workplace. I'm experiencing this as a patient from an NHS Trust. I was seeing a medical health professional in relation to health treatment, only to find that something I told her in confidence led to a false accusation - as she basically told her supervisor, behind my back, what I'd told her which is what led to this. Despite trying to reason things out with her, she wasn't even willing to admit to the possibility of a mistake and this went nowhere with her. Things soon started getting more complicated and in the end, upon realising I couldn't trust her enough to continue the professional relationship I had with her, I decided it was time to put in an official complaint. Very shortly after first alerting the relevant complaints team, I received a letter in the post from the service she worked for repeating this false allegation, which stated lies about things I had supposedly confessed to/written down for this professional's information - signed by both her boss and another senior person higher up. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when I found out that the latter person was also the person who investigates complaints about this service When I met with her, it was apparent to me she had no intention of giving me any kind of benefit of the doubt and only wanted to listen to what suited her. Unsurprisingly, she backed her staff and told me that her investigation findings found I was guilty of what I had been accused of. So far, despite having pointed out since that this service actually has evidence of the fact I did not declare the things that were claimed, this NHS Trust have so far ignored this and, in their letter responses, keep trying to side step all I say that proves them wrong. I can't believe how ridiculous the whole situation has become and can see I'm going to soon have to get legal aid what with the way things are heading.

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mousymary said on 22 November 2013

I work at a University and have been bullied for 8 years.I finally caved in and had some time off as I had become clinically depressed.The bullying is from my all male work colleagues and particularly my line manager.Even his girlfriend has started to criticise me and it reached the point where I couldn't go into the kitchen to make a cup of tea as I was too scared.I have tried to take a case but the University does not have an up to date bullying policy.HR are only there to support the management.My HR advisor is very friendly with the my line manager.The bullying has been quite extensive,taking jobs off me humiliating me ,making comments about me being old ,shouting at me ,sending me to coventry for weeks on end,critisising me all the time and bad-mouthing me to senior management.They also make negative comments about women in general .This is just a small part of it as I don't want to be identified.I self reffered to Occupational Health but I feel sure the manager will see it as a way to get rid of me.
I have ended up feeling worthless,and without hope .I am finding it hard to talk to people or go out of the house and the worst bit is that the bully doesn't care he has won.I am not the only one in the department suffering .but we are all too scared to talk to one another.

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MHF said on 17 November 2013

I concur with Me Again. A similar thing happened to me working for a Public Health Dept. A stitch up between managers, HR, and the hands held under the table union official to protect a new bully manger. After months off with stress, then a return to work and more mobbing by the manager and Consultant, I left. Appalling collusion. My grievance was genuine - I was told by HR that the manager did not acknowledge the events I'd reported. The whole thing stank - these people are utterly corrupt. It's about power and control - the bully was/is a sociopath, who lied to save their job and I had no option but to hand in my notice. I couldn't stand working for or with such people, I felt morally disgusted by the whole thing. My health - both mental and physical suffered as a result. I worked hard at my job - I can never forgive the bully or the people who supported them.

The majority of people who post on here appear to be conscientious people who probably joined the NHS to help others and respect others. I've worked for the NHS since the 80s. The bully I encountered was a newcomer to the NHS - but it's the way the NHS (and other public services I'm sure) is going - it's become a haunt where bullies flourish and it can only get worse with what's happening to the NHS and the pressure being put on staff and departments. I now work part-time back in a clinical setting, but again I'm observing bullying to others. I'm leaving the NHS for a new role shortly as I've had enough of the changes occurring - sadly I have no intention of returning. If you're being bullied, my advice is to get out. These people have everything on their side - but they have no moral scruples. Happiness and health are far more important.

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Me Again said on 09 November 2013

I work for a University, and you won't believe the level of bullying in this place. I finally had enough courage to go for grievance to find then that the whole system is a cover up, as the bullying was with my line manager. In a initial investigation the University even didn't bother to contact any witnesses. On top of that all my line managers and Directors were aware of me dealing with personal problems (physical and mental) so it was easier for them to attack the weakest one, and bully me to force me out of work. They waited until 2 other colleagues ended work (one retired and other ended his visa) to rebuild a new team around the bullier. Finally they removed me (the victim) in order to continue bullying another colleague who supported me all the way through. Now she is in mental trouble and physical decay due to all those 3 managers making her life a misery. They have just created a whole new team at work and make my colleague to look like a puppet to play with, with plenty of mental and verbal abuse. Totally disgusting. I finally managed to go through an appeal and win it, now a second investigation as I asked for witnesses (I had a few volunteers who already left the job). To win this appeal you have to put a lot energy and have lot of coureage to do, no wonders why people never go ahead and just quit. All those harrasment advisers are just "ears" for the University so they can plan in advance, no help or support to staff. The only suport is the Union if you are lucky. As I said I want just to go to work and be respected , not bullied.

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User73545 said on 25 October 2013


excellent organisation to support whistle blowers and people who are struggling with bullying, which lets face it has a huge impact on our work which in turn affects patient care whether you are a clinician, porter admin or domestic. Bullying is never accpetable and is even more horrendous when the nhs trust you work for ignores it and tries to cover things up.

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brandyzzz said on 12 September 2013

I am just finishing a 8 years in work being bullied am so angry with myself for staying so long when all that was happening was I was being ripped apart im now so scared of taking of a new job as I fear it is going to happen again my advice to all and what I should have done in the first week is to get out you will never win these type of people are ruthless and untouchable
I feel your pain : (

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workedwithyou said on 11 August 2013

The majority of the people commenting on this site regarding "bullying" probably have care of patients in their job descriptions.
Bullying of people/staff can have a very direct impact on patient care. If your line manager or boss or whomever is bullying you, I see that as corrupt behaviour. If HR refuse to deal with the situation, tell them that the stress you are experiencing is having an adverse effect on your ability to care for patients, that you see their attitude to your complaints as corrupt behaviour and the fact that they have done nothing to rectify the corrupt behaviour, then it is corrupt behaviour sanctioned by a corrupt organisation. Everyone is sick of hearing the word "bully" and "harassed". You all need to get a lawyer.

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A__ said on 17 July 2013

iv recently started a new job iv been there for about a month now and im starting to feel like im being bullied. my manager was recently on holiday as was another member of staff so as i work part time i was asked to work full time for 2 shifts, however i doctors appointments i could not cancel as if waited ages for it.. anyway as soon as i was finished with my appointment i went straight into work. when my manager came back from holiday she then pulled me up for not working this overtime. oh basically i got asked the day before i was needed.. but anyway she pulled me up and me feel really uncomfortable with her tone of voice. also her words made me feel very small.. she said oh i assumed u were looking for full time work but was said as though i didnt. I explained wat happened with the shifts and that i could do it future. The day after this i went to work wearing a vest top as its been very warm lately - i work as a cleaner so get really warm throughout my shift, - and was pulled up for this as this is not in the dress standards, however i was told the standards were that i had to wear black nothing about no vest tops. again i explained i wasnt told this and then another member of staff basically told me this story about how the girl before me got sacked becoz she had a vest on n stood up for herself the way i have n was told not to come back becoz of her attitude, anyway she doesnt take me aside to have a word she seems to say it infront of other staff and clients. I am dreading going into work as i dont know wat i will pulled up for next. Im also now scared to say anything incase i get classed as having an attitude n told not to come back also. I dont know if this could be classed as bullying but i really dont know wat to do.

Thanks for your help

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nortone said on 05 April 2013

I don't know if I'm being bullied or if I just can't cope with a person with a stronger personality. All I know is that I'm unhappy.

I work on a team of 3. One member of the team is very confident and has strongly pushed themselves forward to raise their profile. I'm happy to do my job and am not a threat. However, this person constantly corrects and contradicts everything I say and do. If I work on a spreadsheet, they change it. I daren't set up a new project because this person changes dates, rooms and attendees 'for the better'. They talk over me if someone asks me a question. I'm at the point where I barely say anything at work, I just put my head down and do my work.

The person has succeeded in making me feel completely useless. I check everything I do and worry about asking this person a question or even saying anything to them for fear of getting my head bitten off. I constantly feel that we are being compared by the management and that they think I'm useless (I know this isn't true, my manager said I have very good people skills and I've always had praise for how I do my job). It's sending me paranoid!

My Dad died last year and I know he'd be saying "stand up for yourself for gods sake". He was a very strong person. I'm not. I don't like confrontation, I'm miserable and am sick of working with someone who is making me feel useless. This person is great at IT and is very conscientious. However, they have the people skills of a warthog. Why do people like this get employed on small teams???

I know it's my problem, I shouldn't give this person power over me and I know I should man up. Trouble is, I haven't got the energy.

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bsp said on 25 March 2013

I have finally begun a formal grievance against my line managers.
This is regretful, and not done with any malice.
I cannot believe that I work in the nhs and have been allowed to be so mis-managed.
Sadly although this is 'normal' practice and many of my colleagues are subjected to similar incidents as myself, I feel totally alone and have already been made to feel guilty before an unbiased investigation has taken place..
They pushed me to a breakdown and overdose in 2011 and cannot go back to that dark place.
The stress is incredible, the sleepless nights and anxiety at times unbearable but If I make someone listen before another one of my colleagues end up as I have, then perhaps it may have been worth it.
I try and remain optomistic and hope that my life will change for the better.
I empathise with all who have commented.
There is plenty of room for sensitive people in the world.
We don't all have to accept that 'the way things are' are not necessarily 'the way they should be'.
Regards and stay strong!

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zeydi said on 05 February 2013

I have just walked out of my job as a dental practice manager due to bullying. Its in dental practices where people get the most abuse because small buisnesses do not have the same bullying procedures as large companies. There is no case unless you have evidence but bullies will pick the moment when there is nobody around to abuse you. There needs to be a change in the law.

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DeborahBW said on 26 January 2013

I'm going through this at the moment, but no matter which way I turn the bullies (yes there are many, managers and staff) are constantly able to have a go at me.

To say I've had a bit of a battering would be an under-statement.

This started a fair few years ago, but became worse around 15 months ago.

I believe this started as I stated that the way the office worked was ineffective. Instead of being welcomed (and these comments were made through official lines) my comments have ensured that I've: been singled out, had rumours spread against me & had ficticious allegations levelled against me.

Other issues would identify who I am and where I work (but, looking at the examples, it seems that these unpleasant people could have used this site as a blueprint).

I'm now battling against a warning, which I don't believe should have been given out (not to me anyway).

Looking on here, it seems that there is nowhere for people to turn (and that I'm not alone).

Just thinking - it would make sense to launch a support group, but when you're going through the wringer / mangle it takes all your 'worth' to fight the 'nasties'.

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Martha W said on 16 December 2012

It would be very use full if there were some answers to to comments posted along side the comments.That would be of help to many people reading this who are unfortunatly in a very simerlar positions.

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Loxy said on 15 October 2012

Hi, I have maybe a different angle on this subjuect. I am a dental practice manager and it is me who feels like i am being bullied by a member of staff. I am unable to say anything to her with regards to any mistakes or mishaps as she completly flys off the handle at me screaming and shouting and goign down the line of im picking on her.

I try not to pull her up on everything that goes wrong but there are important issues that i just have to. If it was any of my other staff I would feel fine in telling them where they were going on, granted no one like to be told off as such and they may have a grumble behind my back but they all take it on board and make improvemnts without thinking it is picking on them.
This resulted in a situation a few weeks ago where the said menber of staff assaulted my at the practice.
Nothing has been done as they said if they persue this then she could say i pick on her. I feel like im in a play ground and am contantly walking on egg shells around her.
I feel very nervous about being around her at work for fear of her reaction. I do feel that because im in a higher position that means that my grievence will not stand but how is that fair??
What can I do??
This member of staff has a record of incidents with me another nurse and another receptionist from our sister practice yet me the nurse and the receptionist have no other record of incidendts and she is the common denominator yet I feel she is the one who is the Victim.
Any advise??

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archrocks said on 08 October 2012

I have worked at the same dental practice for 18 years. I have always enjoyed my work (although there have been tough times) but recently I hate going in. I start to dread going in on Sunday evening. It all began to be bad when we got a new practice manager. I found her fine for the first few months but since then it has gone rapidly down hill, till now I am in the situation where she only speaks to me if I speak to her and she is always nasty with it and I feel she snaps. She is fine with everyone else but has on 5 occasions now been so nasty other members of staff noticed and I was almost in tears. She even managed to make me feel really uncomfortable and criticise me at my appraisal. I have mentioned it to the dentist I work with and he did talk to her but she fudged an excuse and nothing has changed. I now feel I can't tell um again as nothing will happen and I know the other dentist will do nothing as he, his wife an the practice manager are now lose friends. I feel very backed into a corner and feel leaving may be my only choice. Everyone says confront her but I am a very quiet person and don't like confrontation. So what do I do???

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User704786 said on 14 August 2012

hi what do i do if the boss is constantly telling - well bullying me saying i am over weight saying i am making excuses constantly about what i eat or drink should they have a right too tell me what i eat and drink i eat generally good stuff any way including drink good stuff too i am only 23 i would confront the boss but every time i do when in a meeting i freeze up like if i am on a stage should i feel this way i have already lost quite a bit of weight and told the boss but its constantly she always says i need too loose another 3 pounds when i tell her how much i have lost and they keep saying i am answering back as well even though i am not just clearly stating a fact and they keep saying i am ease dropping and butting in conversations when i am not i am just doing my tasks i have been asked to do i have spoken too my careers advisor but he has done nothing more less on the bosses side . how i feel about it any ways and my friends and family said i should tell the boss but feel i cant as dont want to loose my job over it i am quite happy with other colleges i work with . as well but its just the boss

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Jimmy_at_crc said on 18 June 2012

I am having a similar problem to a few other people who have posted on here, I am getting bullied/harrased at work, constantly put down personally, and for the work I'm doing, such as, shelves not stacked correctly, and working too slow, and she moans when I get involved in a workplace convesation, and accuses me of being nosy, and constantly says 'get on with your work', when shes stnding there doing nothing, and I am working! Also, today, she accused me of workung slow again, stooped what she was doing and started to time me under pressure! My boss and his son both know about it, but no action has been taken, I am 17, and don't know where to turn, so I went online, does anyone know what I should do? Tell my doctor on my next oppointement, officially report? I really don't know, if you can help, then thank you so much!

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PhoenixxSixx said on 02 May 2012

I seem to be getting nowhere with my complaint to my boss, its always made out to be that I am a liar and one thing I am indeed not is a liar.
Everyone else is always believed because they are wrapped around the boss and supervisors little finger.
I'm a whisker away from handing in my resignation.
Funny how the NHS is meant to be a caring profession, yet they seem not to care about the health and welfare of their staff.

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fighter1983 said on 27 April 2012

I was signed off sick for for week and my employeer is asking me to come to work for investigation about my sickness. Has she got the right to do that while im sick?

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User563804 said on 22 March 2012

I am an Occupational therapist in the NHS and I love my work. I am conscientious and dedicated with expertise in Brain injury. I have been qualified for 18 years and live for my work. Over the last 5 years I have beeb subjected to consistant bullying where a group of managers have talked about me in their lunchbreak, joked about 'smashing my face in', made a secret agreement not to answer my questions in regard to a new computer system, making gestures behind my back and many many more nasty things. Eventually, I walked out of the building and was on sick leave for 3 months. A meeting was arranged with HR but my angry manager used it to critise me stating things like 'look at the state of you, bursting out of your uniform. No wonder people don't respect you'. I was advised to complete bullying forms, then one of the bullies filled in a bullying form against me saying she felt harrassed that I had accused her of bullying. I was subjected to 3 hours of questions. 5 months later I have heard nothing from HR and the bullying continues. I have gained 2 stone in weight in 5 months and had a chest infection for 3 months. I despair. My wonderful career has died. I put a brave face on for the patients and nurses on the ward. I am considering sick leave again and seeking legal advice.

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Chester13 said on 22 March 2012

I feel I am being bullied at work, with certain colleagues saying things to the practice manager and then I find I am in the firing line. Even my appraisal which is something that is supposed to be positive was so negative and was a performance review and not an appraisal. It does not state how much effort and pride I take in my work but mentions some mistakes I have been making and the fact that I am distracted by other staff talking, which is something that I should not do as I should be silent whilst everyone else around me has a conversation. I have been there for nearly a year and this is my first appraisal and a shock to my system, to find out that in their eyes I am not up to the level of another full time worker who has been there for years. I feel demotivated and hurt. The NHS is supposed to be caring, is it?

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wonderful2 said on 24 February 2012

I was meant to graduate this March, 2012 but unfortunately I did my placement where mentors are bunch of bullies even the ward manager is aware of that and she seem to be nonchalant of that.
My mentors lied so many false accusatiions to me in the name of feedback , they refused to teach me anything by intimidating me in front of doctors, their colleagues and healthcare assistants and patients.

My mentor who is a ward sister lacks confidence to teach but rather she will give difficult patients and she will take the light ones and sometimes she will be doing her online programme. This mentor is very unprofessional because she shouts at me when i ask her a simple question. There was a case a doctor prescribed Hartman for a patient who is hypotensive but she refused to set it up but rather she told me to encourage the patient to drink water. Though there were two healthcare assistants on duty, she denied me my break . She made my life hell and I was having series of headache and I was very stressful .

NHS does not need bunch of bullies like these because the main priority is patient`s safety and not bunch of bullies who enjoy intimidating junior staff and students. I have found out that nurses who qualify 20years ago find it difficult to update their knowledge but rather argues when a student nurse tries to correct them which is very very wrong. Nursing is a cointinuous process and we should learn from each other anf not competing amongst ourselves. I tried to get support from school but unfortunately they were nonchalant. I am very verry grateful that nursing in UK is mainly Degree course because all theses archaic nurses find it difficult to sign off a degree student but rather they will not teach you any skill because of petty jealousy. Nurses especially the ones from abroad need to update their knowledge so that they do not feel threatened by student nurses.

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bluesandtwos said on 04 December 2011

Kevaine - If you have not already done so, you must report the harassment you are experiencing - especially the emails - to the police. What is happening to you is illegal.

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Rburn said on 27 July 2011

continued from below-->

and a week or so later the forman said to me , (we know its you who told him) well it wasnt me , i know who it was but thats beside the point and it never should have been said .

i really dont know what i should do next , i seem to be losing my short term memory so its hard to remember what incidents have happened , and im so tired or have a headache i think if i did go to see the boss i wouldnt be able to say anything meaningfull . i used to feel like i could do any job i wanted . . now i feel like im hardly any good at anything. , i have tried so many times to be ok with that guy but he always causes friction again by calling me something or saying something hurtfull

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Rburn said on 27 July 2011

I believe i am being bullied at work but i need someone else to confirm it because i really dont know what is normal anymore.. i am constantly critisised in my work in almost every aspect by one guy at our work . who is the workshop manager . he does it openly and often includes swearing and namecalling ., last week he told me my job had taken 30 hours longer than it should have and produced proof of it . yet when i asked 2 other employees they said they had also done the same job in about the same time as me . he also will make derogitory jokes about me with other workers there in order it seems to try gain allies in degrading me . he has been the same since i started there , its been going on for nearly 3 years. he has shouted and swore at me accross the workshop infront of everyone , most of the things he critisizes me about he never says to anyone else. . for example , when testing one of my jobs he will nit pick every single fault and write it down in order to show just how many mistakes i have made . with other workers he would just mention it to them so they have a chance to put it right.. i started to lay awake at night on work nights . never on the weekend . ive had splitting headaches that last weeks even when going to sleep and still there when waking up i actually feel like i could cry but am not able to release it.. my shoulders ache. i feel exhausted most days . our company is small and i dont know that we have any grievence procedure , plus the guy who im talking about is good friends with the boss and they always back each other up.. for example. a couple of months ago our foreman made a comment about another worker just after he left . he called him a fat lazy b*stard.. , another worker heard it and told him what had been said.. the foreman denied it. the guy who is bullying me backed him up saying he had never heard it and made the comment that (somebody is sh*t stirring out there in the workshop) , and nothing else got done .

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toogoodforthem said on 10 July 2011

I'm so sad to read about these comments. I was bulllied for years in one particular hospital i worked in. One year when the tanker strike was on , one of my managers tried to avoid giving my a petol station to obtain fuel to get to work! I was sent to Occ health one year because I was supposed to be making loads of mistakes but on my referral the doctor near enough laughed and commented they were mistakes everyone made and basically commented it was "poppycock" ?? I was overbooked constantly over the amount I could achieve. I was blocked from furthering myself. I could list a long line of deliberate "nastiness" including lots of lies about my physical and mental health. I was harrassed when I was having fertility testing and sadly getting divorced.As soon as I got another job it was if I died and gone to heaven. A normal workload, normal nice colleagues and chance to do my work without hassle. Consequently I progressed and expanded in what I did as a profession and my sress levels disappeared!
I now work on a self employed basis working agency and for a private company and never been happier. It was obvious these "bullies" were very unhappy near phsychos who had to take their insecurities out on the lowesr common denominator. Bullies are very insecure and people who write on this website please remember this. They always have some "axe" to grind to the point they hurt nice people like me and you who dont deserve it. Dont give in to these horrible people I know how hard it is. If leaving to move to another job is an option do it but have an exit interview when you have another job with both HR and Occ health so the hospital know who the culprits are. Sometimes one person cant sort these types of people out.
Good luck everyone you can solve it even if it does mean walking away. Sometimes you have to.

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HoangHac said on 22 June 2011

I feel very sad reading the comments above. Obviously, if people can find support in their workplace then they wouldn't need to ask for help here.

I don't have much experience dealing with bullying, but I can imagine it can have detrimental effect on one's life. I guess the question that everyone will ask is how do you go on to prove you are being bullied, because I guess these things are quite hard to be proven. Has anyone had success after confronting the issues with the bully and if so please share your experience to help others in the future.

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kevaine said on 18 March 2011

Nobody should have to experience unpleasantness in the workplace. We all have human rights, and it seems that some employers believe that they can get away with infringing them.

it's sad to see so many of the comments come from the healthcare sector - i've spotted comments from at least 2 nurses, and a dental nurse. This is shocking. Caring professions are meant to care!

I was bullied by a social services department. It dragged on for almost 4 years, making my life hell. I qualified as a social worker to try and help support people, but now I feel that I was in the firing line to receive criticism, an overloaded case-list, and absolutely no assistance or support off management.

it seems often that management are the cause of the bullying issue. They seem to feel that they can intimidate to control staff. My issues started when I reported a lack of basic facilities (I never even had a desk or computer!), and whistleblew on a manager who was breaching patient confidentiality by accessing patient notes without express consent. The matter was never resolved. This manager simply resigned, and nothing at all changed.

I then had family problems - 3 bereavements, and my own serious illness. I saw occupational health, who recommended support, but this was never implemented. I have a long term health problem, and my employers constantly disciplined me for sickness and for needing to attend appointments. I felt that I had no support for my own health, or for my family crisis. I ended up feeling sick at the thought of work, and became stressed. Depression and ptsd were finally diagnosed, but my employer then accused me of being "mental" because I sought counselling.

the matter is now going to tribunal, but I still feel unsupported. My employers are using the tribunal process and their solicitor to continue to harrass me, and to demand I drop the case. They have even sent threats by e-mail to my home. I feel nauseous, my career is wrecked. What can I do?

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JCR21 said on 16 March 2011

Dear mealone,
I hope you've found the support you were looking for from the RCN and that the information NHS Choices sent to you was useful. You may also find the Andrea Adams Trust and Bullying UK (links at the top of the page) can provide you with advice and support to help you through what is obviously a tremendously distressing time.
John, NHS Choices

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mealone said on 11 February 2011

i am an overseas nurse who have been bullied for many years. i asked for help from my line manager, but no effect. it continues constantly. i kept to myself , because i need this job to take care of my family. i even want to kill myself, i bought life insurance, organist my two children's care, wrote last letter to my husband and my kids. i am mentally dead. even anti-depression not helping any more. it's my friends support, asking me to take legal action, i phoned RCN for help, i am waiting how the result will be.

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cbonhs said on 14 December 2010

i cant beleive that there aren't more people commenting on this, i have a colleague who is known as a bully and the boss knows she is and i told the boss i dont agree with her behaviour. She said "oh yes everyone that is new doesn;t like her"!! I know of one colleague that says she is a bully and doesnt talk to her. I have confronted the bully--- as in answered her back --- her rude and unprofessional comments are unacceptable and i cant believe she is allowed to get away with this,. I will report her as I beleive that someone like her is not needed in the NHS!

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ZahraLou said on 06 August 2010

I have worked for the NHS for 15 years and unfortunatley this year changed Trusts and started working within a department which was known to have problems with managment and consultants. Being experienced I stood up to these problems, which unfortunately affected my health dramatically. I have now been off sick for six months with stress. I am very tearful, shakey and feel that my career is finished. I do not now have the confidence to continue with my career and have and still do suffer nightmares, increase in night time seizures and sleep walking. The stess caused by this Trust has made me ill. I am awaiting Tribunal dates/hearing, but can honestly say that the grievance procedure was followd by myself, but not The Trust concerned, if anything they have bullied me via their solicitors and their represenatives. I am blessed with the support of my family and friends, but have suffered times whereby I question myself, did I do wrong, even though I no I didn't. Stress is a horrible illness, you cannot see it, but effects are dramatic. I am trying to keep myself going, I do aqua aerobics x 2 weekly and socialise, but it is difficult.

My advice to anyone in a similar position, is stand your ground, get advice, exercise, but stay strong.

NHS Injuries are now involved in my case and I have had some support from the NHS, but my very strong view is that it is the managment that is at fault and it should be addressed, but it won't be, apparently my many predicessors have either left The Trust or moved departments, but the problems persist. I personally am still suffering and see a pyschologists. I feel let down by the NHS, as a colleague at least.


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felipebarca said on 19 May 2009

My fears about false accusation have been surpassed by the manager of the practice who attempts to damage my CV, my reputation and my opportunity to work in other position. Please tell me where and who do I need to address to report on this situation.

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felipebarca said on 28 February 2009

I'm working for a year at a dental practice Newcastle-Under-Lyme. Since I've started working in this practice I've suffered bullying from the manager in the form of verbal attacks, constant criticism, accusations and insults, in front of coworkers. I've been having high levels of stress that finally lead me to leave the practice. As I have an agreement I have to stay for three months since I noticed my resignment., but things are getting worse every day, and I'm afraid they involve me into false accusations that damage my CV. What can I do? Who can I address? Can I leave the practice right now?

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Anonymous said on 04 August 2008

What do you do if its the Managing Director that is bullying and humiliating you?

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