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Harassment And Bullying At Work Compensation How Much Can I Claim?

By Mary Hightown. Last Updated 7th February 2023. Welcome to our harassment claims guide. We’re covering everything that you should know about how to claim harassment at work compensation. So, are you or a relative the victim of bullying at work in the past? Alternatively, is the harassment at work ongoing, but do you wish to put a stop to it? If so, you’re in the right place. This guide will provide legal help and advice on how to get the bullying at work compensation you deserve.

Harassment and bullying behaviours are, unfortunately, common. In many cases, people who are attacked often don’t realise they can claim workers compensation for bullying at work. They see it simply as one of those things that happen. This couldn’t be further from the truth, especially in cases of bullying in the workplace.

bullying at work compensation

bullying at work compensation

To get a free consultation with one of our specialist advisors where you can get impartial and expert legal advice, please don’t hesitate to use one of the following contact methods. If you have a valid claim, we could connect you to a solicitor to handle your case on a No Win No Fee basis:

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Harassment And Bullying In The Workplace – A Guide To Claiming Compensation

Harassment and bullying in the workplace could include all behaviours, comments or physical contact that could make someone feel offended or humiliated. This could occur face-to-face, online, on phone or by email.

Under the Equality Act 2010, any harassment related to race, age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, and sexual orientation is unlawful, and employers should take reasonable steps to ensure this does not occur in the workplace.

If the employer breaches this duty of care and an employee is harmed as a result of the negligence, it could lead to the employee claiming compensation. If you make a complaint about discrimination and are victimised as a result, this is also unlawful under The Act, and you could potentially claim victimisation at work compensation.

Using legal assistance could make the claims process easier for you if you choose to claim for harassment. You could contact our advisors using the number at the top of this page for free legal advice.

Types of Bullying That Can Be Claimed For

Although the actual term “bullying” is not recognised in a legal sense, it can be deemed to encapsulate many of the forms of definable harassment laid out in the Equality Act 2010. Good examples of the types of harassment and types of behaviour that many people would label as bullying and thus be able to claim compensation for bullying at work for include:

  • Blocking promotion or training prospects – this form of harassment is complex, as it is hard to prove. In effect, it is a very passive type of bullying, where the perpetrator doesn’t actively seek to cause harm to the person they are bullying. Instead, they fail to give equal opportunities that they have a right to.
  • Constant criticism and undermining of a good worker – in cases of harassment where an otherwise competent worker is continuously criticised by a third party, with no real basis for it.
  • Using somebody as the butt of bad or distasteful jokes and other forms of verbal abuse – picking on somebody by constantly ridiculing them or pushing them using verbal abuse is a form of harassment and one that most people would associate with the term bullying.
  • Mistreating a person – an extensive form of harassment that is very common in the workplace and can create an intimidating and hostile environment. Whenever a person is treated differently from another person, they are being mistreated, which is a form of harassment.
  • Slanderous rumours and gossip – if a person reputation is damaged due to the spreading of malicious rumours, this can be a valid type of harassment.

How does harassment happen?

In this section of our guide on claiming bullying at work compensation on a No Win No Fee basis, we’ll look at a few of how harassment at work and bullying can occur.

If someone acts in a way that you find intimidating, hostile, degrading or humiliating, this could be an instance of workplace harassment, and you may be able to take legal action for it. It is also useful to understand that bullying doesn’t have to occur in a direct form of interaction; it can manifest in the form of:

  • Person to person – the most common type of harassment, when one person is bullying another in a face to face fashion.
  • Online – by email, via social media sites, or in an Internet chat room. This includes someone posting your personal details or slander about you on the internet. Online bullying is fast becoming the most common form of bullying of all.
  • In writing – the written word can also be used for bullying and harassment.
  • By telephone – much like face to face bullying, a telephone call can be the vehicle for significant levels of harassment.

What can I do about bullying or harassment at work?

There are some steps you could take if you’re experiencing bullying or harassment in the workplace. Note that these are steps before you filing harassment claims. However, these points could help to shape your harassment at work compensation claim. Now, these include:

  • Record any incidents in writing
  • If safe to do, speak to the perpetrator about how they’re making you feel or have a co-worker do so on your behalf.
  • Report the issue to your employer and have someone accompany you if you feel intimidated

If you experienced bullying or harassment due to third-party failings, you could be entitled to compensation for any damages you suffered as a result. Please get in touch to learn more or continue reading to see what types of harassment you could claim.

What types of harassment can I claim for?

As we can see, the combination of the many faces of bullying. The actual ways that harassment can happen means that there are almost limitless possible ways for a person to have a valid reason to claim bullying at work compensation.

So, let’s look at what the law says; what are some valid reasons for making a compensation claim for bullying and harassment? The following are also known as ‘protected characteristics’:

  • Sexual orientation – when a person receives harassment or bullying due to their sexual orientation, such as being gay or bisexual.
  • Belief or religion – when a person receives harassment or bullying due to the specific religion or belief they choose to follow.
  • Race and colour – when a person receives harassment or bullying due to the colour of their skin or the place they were born.
  • Gender – when a person receives harassment or bullying due to their sex. This also covers cross-gender or gender reassigned individuals.
  • Disability – when a person receives harassment or bullying due to either a physical or mental disability that they are a victim of.
  • Age – when a person receives harassment or bullying due to their age, old or young.

The above are known as protected characteristics, and it’s illegal to discriminate against anyone based on these grounds. These are the essential boxes that bullying or harassment fall into from a legal viewpoint. And of course, individual compensation claims for bullying could comprise multiple different types of harassment.

Behaviour comes under bullying or harassment if it has the purpose or effect of violating your dignity. A person doesn’t need to set out to make you feel this way for it to be harassment; as long as you can prove that their actions were degrading, humiliating or offensive, you may be able to take legal action and claim bullying at work compensation. Please contact us about beginning your harassment at work compensation claim.

Cases of Bullying Are on the Rise

Bullying or harassment at work is extremely prevalent and affect a large majority of people. After all, a Safeline report states that sexual harassment in the workplace affects over half of UK women.

This is because technology has now made communication more straightforward and more immediate than ever before. In the past, many cases of bullying at work compensation would be due to face-to-face harassment at work.

This also echoes with the Trades Union Congress reports as “Still Just A Bit Of Banter“. This outlines how 52% of women (out of 1,500) endures undesirable sexual behaviours at work, such as inappropriate jokes and groping. The report also echoes that, when covering women between 16-34 years old, this rises to 63%. The graph below shows the prevalence of different types of undesirable behaviour of a sexual nature that women experience at work.

Sexual harassment at work statistics graph

Sexual harassment at work statistics graph

If you’re the victim of bullying or sexual harassment at work, you might be able to make a claim. Please get in touch with our team today for free legal advice about your harassment claims. In the meantime, to learn more about how to claim harassment compensation, please continue reading.

The TUC report from the Everyday Sexism Project explores how sexual harassment in the workplace often receives the false description of harmless ‘banter.

What’s the definition of sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is unnecessary and undesirable behaviour of a sexual nature that humiliates the victim, degraded or intimidated. It’s offensive and creates a hostile environment. This is another form of harassment that could give you a reason to claim bullying at work compensation.

What Can I Claim When I Have Been Bullied?

If the workplace bullying was physical, and this led to you suffering a physical injury, it will be classified as an assault. You can make an assault claim for compensation, as well as take action against your employer if they were made aware of the problem and still failed to take necessary preventative actions.

If the workplace bullying came in the form of harassment, and this led to you suffering a psychological injury such as stress or anxiety, you could make a claim for the distress and any resulting effects it had on your life.

This could include:

  • Loss of earnings: If the harassment had forced you to take time off work, or leave your place of work entirely.
  • Treatment costs: If you had spent money on treatment to cope with your stress or anxiety. This can include prescription and therapy costs.
  • Compensation for the distress: If you have been medically diagnosed with a psychological injury, you could seek compensation if your employer’s negligence had a part to play in it.

You could also potentially claim for further issues that have arisen as a result of being bullied in the workplace. If you suffered an injury from being bullied at work, please speak to one of our advisors for information about making a claim and potential compensation.

No Win No Fee Harassment Solicitors

All of our lawyers operate on a No Win No Fee basis. If you choose to work with one of our lawyers, this means that the financial risk of making a claim can be reduced as they ask for no upfront fee.

In the event of a successful claim, a percentage of your settlement for being bullied at work is awarded to your solicitor for their work. However, you don’t have to pay your solicitor at all if your claim loses.

If you are not operating on a No Win No Fee basis, it’s possible that you may have to still pay this fee even if you are not awarded compensation.

If you wish to make a claim for the psychological harm you’ve suffered due to bullying in the workplace, our advisors are trained to handle your case with care and compassion. We understand that a claim for harassment may feel like an intimidating undertaking, but we are here to help in any way that we can.

Get in touch today and we can help take you through to process of claiming the compensation you deserve.

For What Reason Can I Claim Compensation If I Have Been Bullied at Work?

Claiming bullying at work compensation as a result of harassment in the workplace is complex. For many harassment claims, your employer’s liability won’t mean they have to pay your compensation. There are several guidelines that work-related bullying, with the employer being the responsible party, need to fit into, and these include:

Bullying or harassment has to have taken place as a direct consequence of the job. If a person bullies a person, they met through their job but outside of the work role, this is not a valid case for claiming harassment at work compensation.

The actual bullying or harassment would be unavoidable due to its direct link to the employee’s work. Bullying or harassment could cause a long-term mental health problem, or the victim may already suffer some form of mental trauma due to the bullying in the workplace.

Of course, these conditions only apply to harassment and bullying at work compensation claims. The victim is attempting to sue the actual employer for failing to uphold their duty of care. These conditions do not affect compensations claims against individuals in the workplace.

What to Do If You Have Been the Victim of Bullying You Think You Can Claim For

Seeking bullying or harassment compensation for workplace bullying can be difficult. Bullying can often start seemingly harmless, teasing and “banter” before slowly escalating into worse behaviour which creates a humiliating or offensive environment. If the process began a long time ago, then your memory of all the incidents may fade. Bullying is often hard to prove as the behaviour is not often the type to keep on record.

You can start by making a written record of all the incidents you can remember, with as much detail about the incidents and when and where they took place as you can. Be sure to keep recording things as they occur if the harassment is an ongoing issue. Try to speak to a Human Resources team member at your place of employment if this is possible.

If you have had abusive content sent to your email address or phone number, save copies and screenshots of them. If there were any witnesses to the behaviour, approach them and ask if they are willing to testify in your favour to support your accounts.

Beginning a claim for bullying at work compensation starts with a free consultation with a legal advisor. To get yours today, please get in touch with us if you think you could have a formal complaint of workplace harassment and you want to know what to do next.

How to Make a Harassment at Work Compensation Claim

bullying at work compensation

bullying at work compensation

If you’re ready to take the next step towards the bullying at work compensation you deserve, you should contact Legal Expert today.

Our solicitors will offer to give you a free legal consultation, at which time they will take all of the details about your case.

If our solicitors offer to take on your compensation claim, you can rest assured that you’ll receive a No Win No Fee service. This means you will not have to pay any legal fees unless your claim for bullying compensation is successful. In the rare case that your claim fails, you won’t have to pay a penny of your legal fees.

Tips On Claiming Workplace Harassment Compensation

If you suffered unfair treatment at work that has affected you adversely, these tips on  claiming workplace harassment compensation may help you on the next step to take:

  • Keep records of incidents: If you discover you are unfortunately in a hostile work environment, and you are treated unfairly, you may decide to make a claim. You will need records of the instances of harassment. This may include chats, emails, or written down incidents. If there is no evidence of the wrong communication, it becomes difficult to prove any of those incidences and to seek compensation for the harm they have caused.
  • Get legal advice: You are not legally required to use a solicitor, however, it may be the most effective way to claim for bullying at work. Solicitors with years of experience dealing with harassment at work could help you through the different stages of the claims process. For instance, they could help you gather relevant evidence to strengthen your claim. If you would like to work with one of our experienced solicitors, please get in touch with our team. Call us using the number at the top of the page. You can also reach us using the chat pop up or by filling out the form on this page.
  • Claim within 3 years: Generally, the legal time limit for making a claim is 3 years. This time limit means that you must make a claim within 3 years of the incident. However, if you have only recently discovered the impact the harassment has had on you or your career, you could argue that the time limit should begin from the date of knowledge. This is the date you connected the harm you sustained with negligence. 

Check out our guide on claiming against another employee and our guide on if you must be an employee to claim workplace injury.

Compensation For Bullying At Work

If you’ve been bullied and are eligible to claim, you may wonder how much you might receive in compensation for bullying at work. When you start your claim for harassment, solicitors will consider various factors when determining the compensation you might receive.

Since bullying can impact people differently, compensation is determined on a case-by-case basis. For instance, if you have been diagnosed with PTSD from workplace bullying, medical records may give insight into the severity and the future impact of the PTSD on your life. Solicitors also consider compensation amounts from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) when valuing a claim for harassment.

Your claim could include both general damages and special damages. The pain and suffering your endured because of the injury will be compensated for under general damages.

The compensation amounts in the table below are taken from the JCG, which was last updated in 2022. The amounts are only a guide and may not match the amount you might receive in compensation for bullying at work. You can reach out to our advisors for a more personalised estimate at any time.

Injury Compensation Details
Severe Psychiatric damage £54,830 to £115,730 Significant issues, preventing a return to work, form relationships and generally cope in day-to-day life. Poor prognosis.
Moderately severe psychiatric damage £19,070 to £54,830 More optimistic prognosis than the above but with issues preventing a return to work still present.
Moderate Psychiatric damage £5,860 to £19,070 Marked improvement on ability to cope with trauma with a good prognosis.
Less severe psychiatric damage £1,540 to £5,860 Trauma will have an effect on ability to cope and quality of sleep. Such cases just fall short of specific phobias developing.
Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder £59,860 to £10,670 Permanent and lasting effects of trauma, preventing a return to work or ability to function as before.
Moderately Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder £23,150 to £59,860 Prognosis is better than the above but requires professional help to gain any sort of recovery. Significantly disabling effects of trauma for the forseeable future.
Moderate Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder £8,180 to £23,150 Large recovery made in relation to trauma with no majorly disabling effects persisting.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder £3,950 to £8,180 Virtually a full recovery made within a period of 2 years, with only minor symptoms persisting.
Mental Anguish £4,670 Fear of impending death or a reduction in life expectation experienced.
Less severe brain damage £15,320 to £43,060 Brain damage with most normal functions returning after recovery
Minor brain or head injury £2,210 to £12,770 Minimal brain damage, with the lower end of the payout bracket being for cases where a recovery took place within a few weeks.
Cheekbone fracture £2,320 to £2,990 Simple fractures requiring no surgery. Complete recovery expected within a short period of time.

It is important to note that this is not a complete list of the types of compensation due to a claim for bullying or harassment. They are merely some general guidelines. You will need to speak to a legal firm to find out more detailed information on the type of compensation you can claim, based on your unique case and how much you might receive.

Bullying In The Workplace – Special Damages

Your final bullying at work compensation award could also include special damages, which is awarded to compensate for any financial harm you have incurred as a result of bullying in the workplace. For example, you may take time off work due to stress. If this results in a loss of earnings, you may be compensated for this loss if you have evidence, such as a wage slip.

Additionally, you might suffer a psychological injury, such as anxiety, and may need to pay for medication to relieve the symptoms. Medication expenses or prescription fees could make up part of your special damages as long as you retain proof of these losses. In this case, you should keep hold of your receipts.

This is not exhaustive; you could potentially claim for any financial losses directly relating to your injury. If you have questions like, ‘am I being bullied at work?’, our advisors could offer some answers and can provide you with free legal advice. Additionally, you may be connected to one of our workplace injury solicitors, who will be able to estimate how much special damages you might receive.

Contact Legal Expert Today

Have you been a long-suffering victim of harassment or bullying? This could be at work, at college or in your general day-to-day life dealing with other individuals like neighbours. If so, contact us to see if you can claim bullying at work compensation for your suffering.

We can help with every aspect of your bullying or harassment compensation claim in an expert manner. And we deal with hundreds of harassment claims every year. When you hire us, you will receive a top-quality, highly professional service to achieve the most amount of compensation possible.

Use one of the following methods to contact our team:

Contact us today and find out if you have a valid compensation claim case for bullying or harassment at work.

Useful related links

Other guides you may find useful:

Harassment At Work FAQs

Can I claim compensation for harassment?

Those responsible for harassment or bullying of any kind could hold liability in a personal injury claim. If you’re a victim of this, you could receive compensation. With the support of a personal injury solicitor, you could claim against the negligent party to compensate for the trauma you’re enduring.

Must I begin my harassment at work claim with a personal injury claims time limit?

To make a harassment at work claim, you must begin it within 3 years of the date of the accident. Should you fail to begin your case within the 3-year limitation period, it could hinder your claim validity.

Are there any exceptions to the limitation periods?

If your case involves a child under 18, then a litigation friend would be appointed to handle the case, and the limitation period may differ. The limitation period may also differ for claims involving those who lack the mental capacity to handle their own case; cases of this nature would come under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

What is an example of harassment?

A common example of harassment in the workplace is inappropriate sexual advances while in a professional environment. Often, victims may worry about speaking up due to the perpetrator being in a position of power (i.e. job security). However, it’s always best to hold those accountable for their wrongdoings, particularly as you could receive compensation.

Can I sue for harassment emotional distress?

Just as physical injuries can be compensated, psychological, mental and emotional distress can also be compensated. This type of compensation falls under the category of special damages in personal injury claims.

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      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.