When bullied, blame would be placed on

When an employer takes on a new employee, a
contract of employment is drawn up. The contract will include and cover various
different points and is where a duty on both sides is agreed upon to maintain a
relationship based on mutual confidence and trust. If at any point this is
broken by either party, then an implied term of contract has been breached. In
a situation when an employee feels severely bullied within the workplace, to
the point of having to seek medical help, then the employer risks being in
breach of the contract due to allowing the bullying to continue. In breach of
this, the employee could claim constructive dismissal and potentially resign in


Health and Safety

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The main piece of legislation relating to
health and safety is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Its main
responsibility is to clearly set out the main duties of both the employer and
employee, and highlight that the ownership of health and safety within the
workplace is on both sides.


provide a safe place to work

provide appropriate and adequate equipment and safe systems of work

The legislation requires the employee:


take reasonable care to ensure their own health and safety at work

follow the health and safety rules implied by the employer to meet requirements

Additional legislation pertaining to the
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, is the six pieces of legislation introduced
due to European Law. These include:


manual handling

equipment and the workplace

of personal protective equipment (PPE)

use of display screen equipment (DSE)

of adequate equipment at work

out risk assessments



In this situation, stress which is also an
area covered under the health and safety act, would be considered as it’s part
of the employers duty of care to help minimise the stress experienced in the
workplace. Where an employer is being severely bullied, blame would be placed
on the employer for not having provided a ‘safe’ place to work. If the stress
is excessive and is causing the employee’s health to be damaged, it becomes a
health and safety issue and a claim can be brought for compensation.


Significance of implied duties as regards
the management of employees at work


All employment
contracts contain an implied term which is the employer’s duty not to act in a
way that destroys, or seriously damages, the “trust and confidence”
that should characterise an employment relationship, without reasonable cause
to do so (Platt, 2006). It is essentially the viewpoint that employers are to deliver
appropriate and reasonable management decisions and behaviour that does not
display any detrimental attitude to any individual employee.


If an employer
has been seen to breach their duty of care by not providing and monitoring a
reasonably practicable working environment, free from harassment and bullying
could potentially find themselves hit with a claim made to an employment
tribunal for constructive dismissal.


Principles of the law on freedom of


The principles covered by law with regards to
freedom of association provide protection to trade unions in particular and
gives employees the right to join and participate within them. It allows
employees to freely take part in activities associated with the trade union,
without any involvement from the employer. As much as the law provides
protection to all those involved in trade unions, it also protects those who do
not wish to participate. It is therefore unlawful to discriminate/ treat anyone
detrimentally for either being a member of a trade union or in this case, not
wishing to be a part of one.


As well as being protected under the Trade
Union and Labour (Consolidation) Act 1992 there is also protection from Article
11 of the European Convention on Human Rights – the Freedom of Assembly and
Association. This article provides protection to employees wishing to join a
trade union without receiving any negative repercussions as a result of this
(ICS Learn).