Concerns With Fellow Employees At Work
What you can and can’t do when employees discuss wages
Can your employees discuss their salaries or wages with their co-workers? Yes. Even if you have a company policy against it? Yes.
In fact, having a policy against it could get you in hot water with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) because such policies generally violate federal labor law.
The National Labor Relations Act protects employees’ rights to discuss conditions of employment, such as safety and pay even if you’re a non-union employer. The NLRB calls these discussions “protected concerted activity” and defines them as when employees “take action for their mutual aid or protection regarding terms and conditions of employment.”
For example, the NLRB issued a complaint against a diaper supply company in St. Louis that fired a worker after she discussed wages with another employee. The employer had a handbook policy against discussing wages, but it was found to be unlawful by the NLRB. As a result, the employee was given back pay and offered reinstatement, and the employer changed its handbook.
This case illustrates a common misconception — that employers can forbid employees from discussing their salaries.
Repercussions from these kinds of conversations can ripple throughout the entire company. The more you know about what you can and can’t do, the better you can protect yourself and your company.
What employers can’t do
You cannot forbid employees – either verbally or in written policy – from discussing salaries or other job conditions among themselves.
Discussing salaries is protected regardless of whether employees are talking to each other in person or through social media.
What employers can do
Of course, discussing salaries can be problematic. Conversations can evoke feelings of jealousy and inequity among co-workers who most ly are unaware of the reasons for salary differences, including education, experience and training. Suspicion, distrust and other negative emotions often result from salary discussions and seriously affect company morale.
The best way to head off those problems is to foster a positive working relationship with your employees. Consider instituting strategies these:
- Pay people fairly in the first place: Review your own records and make sure your salaries are competitive in the marketplace.
- Encourage a workplace where employees are comfortable approaching management or HR personnel with questions or observations about salaries or working conditions.
- Help employees understand their salary ranges and job potential, and inform them how additional skills, training or certifications could possibly affect their growth within your company.
- Provide resources and training for management so they are aware of labor rulings and know how to respond to employees’ questions and requests.
- Put together a complaint resolution procedure for your company that allows employees to be heard.
- Conduct internal surveys that monitor your company’s general climate, employee engagement and compensation perceptions.
Have a compensation strategy
To help give a framework to your employee compensation, your company should detail how pay decisions are made. Having a system of checks and balances can help keep wages in line with your company policies, job descriptions and industry standards.
If you discover there are employees with salary rates disproportionate with your policy or the market, it could be seen by employees as unfair.
Sometimes positions have a significant strategic importance and the pay rate can be defended as acceptable. However, these inconsistencies should be documented as part of a pay structure analysis.It’s easier to defend a claim of unequal pay if you have objective criteria for how you base your pay decisions.
You may want to hire a third-party vendor to conduct a salary survey, which analyzes data a job description, experience, education and geography. It will give you similar jobs in the market and the pay scale – a place to start when determining what you’ll pay your employees. Repeat the salary surveys periodically to check that your wages are still in line with industry standards.
When determining compensation, there are a number of variables to consider. It can be many things:
Pay equity is a hot topic and is driving some companies to be more transparent in their compensation, from posting pay ranges (minimum to maximum) to indicating pay grades (without discussing exact figures) for jobs. Being transparent can help remove mystery regarding wage decisions and improve employee trust in management and morale.
Guidance for hiring managers
Once you determine how and what you’re going to pay employees for specific work, that information should be documented and used by hiring managers.
While you want to empower them to weigh in on salary decisions, those decisions can’t be made in a bubble. There should be a layer of approval.
If the salary will deviate from your policy, document the reasons for the exception, and have someone up the chain review and sign off on it.
Some states and cities across the country have laws in place that prohibit asking a job candidate about salary history. The thought is that your company should pay workers your formal compensation strategy, not their pay history. By relying on your company’s pay rates as the guide, it creates a more equitable pay structure.
How your HR staff can help
When an employee brings up the question of pay, consider bringing in your HR staff, which should be equipped to ask more questions and find out what an employee’s actual concerns are. It could be something other than just a matter of pay rate.
It could be a personal problem: For example, an employee’s spouse has lost a job and they’re in a bind and need more money.
It could be a matter of an employee hearing that others are getting paid more, and the issue of gender inequality could enter the discussion.Having human resources involved sends a message to the employee that their concerns are taken seriously, and takes into consideration that additional employee assistance and support may be needed.
If you’re most companies, your employees are the backbone of your organization. Mutual trust and the feeling of being valued can go a long way in heading off problems before they escalate. With the guidance of your HR representatives and management, you should be able to handle whatever issue comes along.
How can you get the scoop on employment laws that apply to your business? Download our free e-book, Employment law: Are you putting your business at risk?
People spend nearly one third of their adult lives at work, and workplace issues are a common source of stress for many. It is impossible to have a workplace where everyone's roles, expectations, and personalities work perfectly together, without conflict. As such, certain workplace issues may cause negative psychological symptoms.
Research shows perceived stress in the workplace, for example, is associated with a higher prevalence of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Workers may find discussing their workplace stress or challenges with a trained mental health professional is helpful to them both professionally and personally.
Common Workplace Issues
Common workplace issues that employees face include:
The workplace is typically an environment in which people with different personalities, communication styles, and worldviews interact.
These differences are one potential source of workplace issues and can ultimately lead to stress and tension for those involved.
Although all employees have the right to be treated fairly and to feel safe in the workplace, some employees face bullying, harassment, and/or discrimination.
Members of the LGBT community, specifically, remain unprotected in the workplace by a national nondiscrimination policy. Additionally, some employees may experience dissatisfaction with their work, struggle with their performance on the job, or have difficulty finding a job that fits their abilities and interests.
Workplace issues can lead to decreased performance and productivity, loss of job/termination, decreased satisfaction/happiness, stress, and a wide variety of mental health issues. Harassment in the workplace can also lead to legal troubles. The American Psychological Association notes job insecurity and lack of support at work can exacerbate workplace issues.
High Stress Jobs
Some jobs involve a particularly high degree of stress. One theory, known as the job demand-control (JDC) model, posits that high degrees of work stress are prevalent in jobs with many demands and little control over working conditions.
Some jobs known to be particularly stressful include firefighter, airline pilot, enlisted military personnel, police officer, and event coordinator. Additionally, some jobs such as health care worker, teacher, social worker, and administrative support worker have been associated with increased levels of depression.Elevated rates of substance abuse are prevalent among employees who work in mining, construction, and the food service industry.
Work-related stress is a significant problem, with an estimated 40% of workers describing their job as very or extremely stressful. In addition to mental health symptoms, work-related stress can cause physical health problems such as heart attacks, hypertension, pain, and insomnia.
How Psychotherapy Can Help with Workplace Issues
There are various ways in which therapy may be useful to help resolve workplace issues. Therapy can effectively treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health symptoms that result from workplace issues. Therapists can also teach healthy coping skills that employees may use to manage work-related stress and other issues. Find a therapist in your area.
For example, cognitive behavioral therapy helps people identify and change unhealthy thoughts, which often results in improved mood and overall well-being.
Mindfulness, meditation, and other stress management techniques can be taught in psychotherapy. Therapy can also be useful for improving an individual’s assertive communication skills, as well as other conflict resolution skills.
These skills can then be applied in the workplace to improve one’s experience at work.
Vocational counseling is a specific type of counseling that can be useful for workplace issues such as job fit, performance, and satisfaction. Vocational counselors help employees identify their specific skills and abilities in order to help them develop career goals and find jobs for which they are well suited.
Industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology is also particularly relevant to workplace issues, as it focuses on human behavior in the workplace.I-O psychologists are sometimes brought into a workplace to identify areas of concern within an organization, as well as to help workers create a more collaborative, healthy work environment.
Some employers, including many federal agencies, offer counseling to their employees at no cost through employee assistance programs (EAPs). These counseling sessions provide an opportunity for employees to discuss any issues that may be affecting their work performance with trained professionals.
Disclosing a Mental Health Condition to Your Employer
The decision to disclose a mental health condition to an employer can be a difficult one.
Although the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from firing employees with mental health conditions as long as they can perform the functions of their job, employees who make a disclosure may still face negative consequences such as not getting promoted, being treated differently, or even being fired. For this reason, many employees may not feel safe disclosing their mental health condition.
While informing a supervisor about mental health issues can help an employee get additional support or necessary accommodations at work, there is also the potential for stigma and other negative effects. Ultimately, the decision to disclose is a personal one.
Therapy for Workplace Issues: Case Examples
- Police officer experiencing psychological symptoms as a result of job stress: Jose, 48, is experiencing a lot of stress-related symptoms due to the high demands of his work as a police officer. He has been having difficulty sleeping and has noticed that his appetite has been decreasing. Additionally, he experiences muscle tension and headaches on a daily basis. Jose seeks therapy to help manage his stress. In his therapy sessions, he learns meditation and breathing techniques that he can practice each day in order to decrease his stress level. His therapist also helps him identify thinking patterns that contribute to his stress. For example, Jose realizes that he has been putting unrealistic expectations on himself. He has placed a lot of focus on small mistakes that he has made, while ignoring the times that he gets praise and positive feedback about his performance at work. Through his work in therapy, he is able to take a more realistic approach and accept that mistakes are inevitable while also allowing himself to acknowledge times when he performs well. Additionally, Jose and his therapist collaborate to develop a plan for increasing Jose’s lifestyle balance. He has been able to make time each day for exercise and relaxation, which has helped him decrease his overall stress level.
- Therapist helps with workplace bullying: Sara, 23, is consistently getting bullied by a coworker at the office. It's made her workplace environment incredibly uncomfortable, and she finds herself getting less and less work done. She also experiences a heavy feeling of anxiety before heading to the office and often calls in sick to avoid the issue all together. In lieu of quitting her job, Sara decided to find a therapist with whom to work. She has learned that she does not have to accept the current office environment as her reality, and has identified what steps to take to feel more comfortable at work. To communicate her feelings at the office, she had an open conversation with her boss about why her work is suffering, and organized a meeting with her coworker and boss to be mediated by the therapist. After a series of enlightening discussions, Sara feels more confident about going in to work and dealing with coworkers, who are treating her with a newfound respect.
- Bush, D. M., & Lipari, R. N.(2015). Substance use and substance use disorder by industry. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved from //www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_1959/ShortReport-1959.html
- Hash, K. M., & Ceperich, S. D. (2006). Workplace issues. In D.F. Morrow, & L. Messinger (Eds.), Sexual orientation and gender expression in social work practice: Working with gay, lesbian, bisexual, & transgender people. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Rubino, C., Perry, S. J., Milam, A. C., Spitzmueller, C., & Zapf, D. (2012). Demand-control-person: Integrating the demand-control and conversation of resources models to test an expanded stressor-strain model. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 17(4), 456-472. doi: 10.1037/a0029718
- Szeto, A. C., & Dobson, K. S. (2013). Mental disorders and their association with perceived work stress: An investigation of the 2010 Canadian community health survey. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 18(2), 191-197. doi: 10.1037/a0031806
- The most stressful jobs of 2015. (n.d.). CareerCast.com. Retrieved from //www.careercast.com/jobs-rated/most-stressful-jobs-2015
- Tugend, A. (2014, November 14). Deciding whether to disclose mental disorders to the boss. The New York Times. Retrieved from //www.nytimes.com/2014/11/15/your-money/disclosing-mental-disorders-at-work.html?_r=0
- Weir, K. (2013). Work, stress and health. Monitor on Psychology, 44(8), 40. Retrieved from //www.apa.org/monitor/2013/09/stress-health.aspx
- Workplace stress. (n.d.). The American Institute of Stress. Retrieved from //www.stress.org/workplace-stress
- Worth, T. (2016, September 28). Ten careers with high rates of depression. Health.com. Retrieved from //www.health.com/health/gallery/thumbnails/0,,20428990,00.html
Last Update: 05-16-2019
How to be a Good employee at Work: 25 Employee Qualities
How do you distinguish a bad employee from the good one? You must be thinking what kind of a stupid question is this, it’s simple
A good employee portrays qualities punctuality, dependability, a perfect team member and most importantly a very hard worker. The bad employees are just the opposite.
In the office, we all want to be a good employee and inspire others to be one, but there are certain personality skills of a good employee that you must possess in order to become a good employee.
Moreover, these days the methods of assessing a person’s success are changing. So, now more than how much you earn, people are looking into other good employee qualities to measure how successful you are in your career.
Money is important and it will follow you anyway, if you can become a good employee. When you are pro-active and take initiatives in completing some of the tasks that others deny, it will fetch you some brownie points in your appraisal, which in turn will earn you higher incentives.
Most senior employees are seen complaining about the way juniors are working, they think that they lack a sense of responsibility and that is the reason deadlines are not met on a regular basis. Even when it comes to taking the onus on them, they back out and keep putting the blame on others.
So, you must be curious to know the personality traits and good work qualities of a good employee!
1. No risk, no gain:
The good employees are always ready to take chances. They love to take up the challenges irrespective of how hard things turn up to be.
The thought process of the best employee is somewhat if you do not take challenges, then how come you will know how much potential you have.It might happen that they are unsuccessful but at least their courage is appreciated that when nobody was willing to take the job, they tried to accomplish the job.
In most cases, when they accept challenges, they end up being successful in their venture. Stagnant employees never think of taking the plunge, they are happy sitting in one corner and clapping for their fellow colleagues.
2. Possesses leadership position:
There will be traits of potential leader in them and in the absence of manager, will be able to handle the team efficiently.
Self-confidence, ability to decide on his own and managing the team members without showing off the power are some of the leadership and good qualities of an employee.
We all can name hundreds of negative and positive things about others, but when it comes to point out some of our own personality traits, then we all are dumbstruck mostly.
Here is where the good and productive employees differs from the rest, they know where they need to improve and in case they are not able to figure out correctly, they don’t hesitate in seeking the help of their co-workers or the manager at all.
4. Flexibility is the key:
Good employee will display the immense amount of flexibility and would be ready to accept any kind of job that is offered to him.
He carries a positive attitude and is eager to provide his best to the work that is on his hand. A good employee is never afraid of taking on new responsibilities.
5. Knows his job well:
When the employee is allocated a job, then the manager expects him to work on his own without asking hundreds of questions at every step.
The manager has his own work to handle, therefore, if the individual keeps on asking him the question, then it is of no use to delegate the job to him, instead the manager would have completed all the work by himself.
In this case, a good employee will take the job and will complete it without asking too many questions.
6. Is fun to work with:
As a good employee, you are the role model of almost everybody out there on the floor, so your behavior and action must be that way only.
Others must enjoy your company and must look forward to work with you.
7. Self – motivated:
In order to grow at workplace the good employee makes it a point to motivate themselves to learn more about the job.
Keep up themselves with the latest updates about the work and gives complete dedication to their job. They don’t look up to someone else to motivate instead the work they do acts as an inspiration.
8. Manages the boss:
He knows the nerve of his boss very well. He knows whether his boss s more of verbal communication or relies more on the mail.
Depending on the orientation of his boss, he communicates the necessity to his boss. He knows better on when and how to break the bad news to him.
Make arrangements of the meeting as per his preference and also make the boss to make him accept the unprecedented in a good way.
By doing so, he soon becomes one of the trusted employees of his manager and gaining the advantage in his team with sheer hard work and presence of mind.
9. Organized completely:
As a good employee, you are expected to know your role and the responsibilities you will have to share.
So, after the completion of those, the good employee will be proactively helping their managers with their share of work as it will help him gain knowledge of the responsibilities that a manager has.
10. Knowledgeable about the goal:
The quality of a good employee is that he works with the future goals in mind. He works towards achieving the goal of the project on a broader aspect.
11. Focusing on details:
There is always something that generally employees overlook, but if you have a good employee in your team, you will see how he takes care of everything to make the project successful.
In order to be the best and have that creative edge over others, the good employees strives hard and spends time in doing things which the others don’t pay heed to.
12. Get your work done:
If you are a good employee, then you must have enough support to make things done with support from others.
When required, others will help you in completing your task just because you have also helped them in the time of their need.
13. Positive energy:
Good employees always have positive aura all around them and you will enjoy working along with them.
They are always ready to provide their useful suggestions in getting things done and at times they hide away from limelight and do their work quietly.
No matter how they are doing it, but the important thing is that they are getting it done successfully.
14. Love what they do:
If you are not doing things that you love, then there is no way you can give your best to the job.
Therefore, this is one trait that differentiates a good employee from others. You have to love your job completely in order to be the best in it otherwise you won’t be able to perform better.
15. Patient in nature:
Doesn’t get hyper if something goes wrong, instead keeps his cool during the period and solves the problem without creating a fuss.
The good employee will never repeat his mistakes and will not go on back foot just to escape the situation. He would rather go all his way to solve the issue.
16. Managerial attitude:
No matter which rank you hold, you must have managerial attitude and qualities all throughout, if you really want to reach that stage at some point of time in your professional career.
In order to prove the managerial skills of yours, you can manage the expectations of your colleagues, including your boss and others in the department and try to accomplish the work provided to you within the stipulated time frame.
If you want to stand out as a good employee, then it is important that you take interest in making progress report even when you are not asked to without hampering your work responsibilities.
17. Time management:
In order to be good at what you do, you really need to manage your time very well by prioritizing the work you have on your hand.
You must not postpone any work that involves more than one department in it because that means due to your fault, all other departments will also suffer.
It is not only about managing your time well, instead you must be able to manage the time of your boss effectively too.
18. Open to discussions:
When you are sitting in a closed place, it doesn’t mean that you will close your mind too, instead if you keep your mind open to interesting conversation, then it will make the workplace environment even better.
19. Know what’s going on:
They are completely aware of the latest trends and enjoy sharing the details with others too.
It is not only about the local trends; instead they keep a tap on what is going on in the world as well. In order to make things happen a little bit of research is required over the weekends.
20. Stands by the co-workers:
They will not only look at what is best for them, but will also stand by others, raise concern, communicate the benefits and also help you take leaves when required.
21. Have an answer for everything:
When you will go up to them for a solution, then they will have just the perfect answer for your query.
They would provide you with a solution right there on the spot and this happen because they are completely aware of the pros and cons of the job being a master in it.
22. Honesty is the best virtue:
Lie won’t take you anywhere, instead it will harm your reputation a big time.
Therefore, if you are trying to get into the shoes of a good employee, then it is important that you be an honest speaker and try to keep the managers and the customers happy with your true words only.
23. Good Personality:
A good employee always fits with the team allocated to him without any chaos or problems. His personality would be very pleasing and will be welcomed and loved by most.
It doesn’t mean that whether he is good looking or not, instead, he must be presentable in front of the client.
He is representing your organization; therefore he must be good in communication and must have enough knowledge of the job, so that he can impress the client and bring in more business.
You will never see a good employee boasting about how good they are at their work, instead, they will be down to earth and modest about their body of work.
Farewell Message for an Employee Leaving
It can be difficult to find the right words to say goodbye to an employee leaving your company. You want to write something meaningful, but remain composed and professional at the same time. Use this sample text as-is or as a starting point to craft a meaningful, personalized farewell message to share on one of these free printable thank you cards.
Wish your soon-to-be former coworker the best as he or she heads into retirement.
- The nice part about retiring from doing what you do so well is there is no more rushing around to meet deadlines and complete tasks. You'll have lots of time to make all your dreams come true. The bad part is how much we will miss the pleasurable experience of working with you. We wish you the all the best and thank you for your years of dedication, enthusiasm and team spirit.
- Working with you for the past X years has been a joy! While I'll miss working side-by-side with you, I am so happy for you as you transition from career to retirement. You have always been a hard worker and a terrific team member. No one is more deserving of a long and happy retirement filled with relaxation and enjoyment. I wish you only the best as you retire from XYZ Company!
Moving on for a Promotion
Say farewell to a coworker who is being promoted to a new role within the company.
- Congratulations on your recent promotion! We know you will tackle this new venture with the same passion and dedication you've displayed as part of our team and will quickly establish yourself as a valued employee in your new role. Working alongside you has been an honor and privilege, and we know you will continue to succeed in this new phase of your professional career.
- While I will miss working with you each day, I am so happy that you will be staying with XYZ Company while advancing in your career. I am very proud that you have been tapped for a promotion as a result of your hard work and success. No one deserves this promotion more than you, and I am certain that you will do an outstanding job in your new position as ABC Role.
Lateral Move or Transfer
Share best wishes for a coworker who is being transferred to a new location or otherwise making a lateral move within the company.
- We wish you the best both professionally and personally as you move into your new position within our company. While we will miss the day-to-day interaction with you – you've been an indispensable part of our team – we know you will continue to do well and achieve major milestones.
- I have enjoyed getting to know you during your time in the ABC Office and wish you success as you become part of the XYZ team. I'll miss working with you on a daily basis, as you have been a great team member and co-worker. I am sure you will enjoy continued success in your new role with the company.
When coworkers leave for a job with a new company, be sure to congratulate them and wish them success.
- Congratulations on your new job – good for you! While we will miss you and have fond memories of working with you, we wish you well and hope you attain all the success you deserve. Your dedication and work ethic have been an inspiration to us all.
- I'll miss seeing you at ABC Company on a daily basis, but I am so happy for your success! You are a great coworker and team member, so I'm not surprised to hear that you have accepted a wonderful new opportunity. Best wishes for continued success! Please keep in touch.
Leaving to Go Back to School
Congratulations and best wishes for success are in order when a coworker leaves to pursue higher education.
- While I am sad to see you leave ABC Company, I am so proud of the fact that you have decided to continue your education. I am sure that you will be successful in school, and the skills that you learn will help you become an even bigger asset to the company that is lucky enough to hire you once you have earned your degree. Best wishes for success as you enter this exciting new phase of your life!
- Going back to school is a big decision, and I am so excited for you as you make the transition from working full-time to pursuing higher education. Your dedication to pursuing your studies is admirable, and I wish you great success throughout your academic career and beyond. Your team at ABC Company will be cheering for your success every step of the way!
Staying Home With Baby
When a coworker decides to stay home as a full-time parent, a fond farewell and wishes for success are well warranted.
- Congratulations on the addition to your family! I am so happy for you and wish you much joy and happiness as you focus on parenting full time. Enjoy every second that you have to spend with your little one! Know that your team at ABC Company is on your side. We'll be sending best wishes to you and your family, wishing you only the best.
- While I will miss seeing you at work, I am so pleased that you have the opportunity to step away and focus on your family at this time. I am sad to see you go, but I am also so very happy for you and your family. I wish you only wonderful things as you transition away from being my coworker to focusing on being a full-time parent. These days with your little one are precious. Enjoy every minute!
General Departure Messages
You may not always know why a coworker is leaving your company. Even if you aren't sure what they're doing next or why they are going, it is still a good idea to to send them off with best wishes for the future.
- Words are inadequate to express our gratefulness and appreciation of the incomparable work performance and attitude you've displayed during your tenure with our company. Saying goodbye is never easy, especially to someone who has been such a valued team member. We wish you all the best now and into the future.
- It has been an honor to work with you at XYZ Company over the past few years. I couldn't have asked for a better coworker and really appreciate the fact that you have been such a team-oriented member of the department. Please know that you will be missed. Best wishes for happiness and success. If I can ever be of assistance to you, please let me know.
Tips for Crafting Farewell Messages
While these messages may work for you the way they are written, you may need to tweak the content to reflect your relationship with the person who is leaving.
Consider a Theme
When you compose a farewell message for an employee leaving, you can turn to movies, television and books for inspiration.
If you don't feel comfortable writing your own message, include a famous quote or line from a movie or television show.
Several books contain compilations of quotes for any situation, from quotes of encouragement to quotes of sympathy. Once you identify an appropriate quote, include it in your message.
Add a Personal Touch
To remain professional, wish the employee luck and offer to provide assistance in the future, if applicable. You can also write about the employee's on-the-job achievements. Recall a favorite memory about the person and use the anecdote in your message. If the departing employee has a favorite hobby or sport, mention this in the message to personalize it.
Customize the Message
Many times, a customized sentiment means more to a departing employee than a standard greeting card. Embellish your message with photographs that illustrate your time together or use company newsletter clippings that discuss the employee's personal and professional accomplishments.
Stay Away from Off-Limits Topics
Keep in mind that even if you have a personal relationship with an employee, you should avoid writing anything that could be construed as inappropriate or against company policy as it could create compliance concerns. Always avoid risqué jokes and other messages that could be considered inappropriate.
Saying Goodbye Gracefully
If you craft your message carefully and present it with good thoughts, the employee will appreciate your gesture. It can help you preserve your relationship with your former coworker even when you aren't working side-by-side.
Additionally, writing such a message may even open up networking opportunities for the future.
You never know! The employee who is leaving your team or company today might end up as the manager of a company you would to work for at some point in the future.
Violence at Work
By: Abigail Taylor – Updated: 18 Jun 2019 | *Discuss
The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) define work-related violence as 'any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work.' This includes verbal abuse and threats, as well as any form of physical abuse.
Those most at risk are employees who work with members of the public. However it is important to remember that violence can also be perpetrated by fellow employees.
Duties of employers
Employers have a responsibility to their employees to make sure that they are reasonable safe at work.
Often when considering this duty, employers consider the need for work premises and any machinery to be safe. Whilst these are important considerations, employers must also consider the risk posed by other people employees will meet during the course of their employment.
Higher risk jobs (e.g. workers in care homes for adults suffering from mental illness) would be expected to have specifically assessed this risk and have specific policies and procedures in place to try to reduce the risk of and prevent violent incidents occurring. All employees should be trained on these procedures. If you have concerns, speak to your employer.
It is important that these procedures are reviewed regularly. Any accidents or near misses should be reported to your employer so that they can review whether any amendments are needed.
First steps following an incident
- If an incident occurs, promptly report it to your manager.
If they don't investigate the incident, make sure that you make notes of what happened, write down the names of any witnesses, and take photos of the area and any injuries
- If you wish to pursue the matter as a criminal offence, ask your employer to report it to the police.
If they don't do so, you can call the police yourself. (For non-emergency calls, contact the police on 101.)
- If you have concerns about the incident being repeated, discuss ways to prevent this with your manager
If any violence (from a member of the public, customer or colleague) is committed against you, consider whether it is a criminal offence. Forms of violence which constitute a criminal offence may include:
- Use of racially abusive language
- Threats to kill
- Physical violence (e.g. punching / kicking, especially if injury is caused)
You may want to consider a civil action against your employer in the form of an employment law claim or an injury claim:
1. Employment law claim
If an employer fails to prevent violence at work, and you have to leave your job as a result, this could constitute a breach of contract and may result in a constructive dismissal claim.
For example: Your employer knows that a fellow employee regularly threatens you and does not take action to prevent the abuse. You are unable to work in those conditions and quit your job.
This could be constructive dismissal and you could be entitled to compensation.
Seek advice from an employment law specialist or your local Citizens Advice Bureau if you are considering making an employment claim.
2. Injury claim
If you are injured as a result of violence at work, you may be able to make an injury claim against your employer. Injuries may be physical (e.g. bruising / broken nose) or mental (e.g. a diagnosed psychological condition such as anxiety or PTSD).
Your employer is responsible for ensuring your reasonable safety at work.
If they have not taken appropriate action to do so, they may be found to have acted negligently and so be responsible for your injury. Employers are responsible for the actions of other employees, even if criminal.
Therefore if, for example, another employee assaults you at work, your employer will be liable to compensate you for any injury suffered as a result.
If you are considering this route, speak to an injury law specialist or contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
Work-place violence: Everybody's problem
As you will see from the above, violence at work is a serious issue for employers. Not only can work-place violence lead to injured employees requiring time off work, but employers may end up with civil claims against them.
Employees can be assured that the law is very much on their side in terms of ensuring their safety at work, which extends to protection from violence. If you have any concerns, speak to your employer and hopefully you can work together to prevent any incidents occurring.
However if any incident does occur and you are not happy with your employer's response to it, remember that you have several legal options open to you in order to resolve the situation.
Previous Page Next Page
You might also …
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I've been attacked twice now yesterday really bad by my boss he is my next door neighbour 07835564131
Dave – 18-Jun-19 @ 12:05 PM