Constant trivial non-specific nit-picking criticism, refusal to value, undermining, exclusion, isolation, removal of authority,
increasing of responsibility, starving of resources, overloading with work? Read this
Wednesday 29 May 2002
In 1993/4 I was bullied out of my job as a Customer Services Manager. It was the usual story of constant trivial non-specific nit-picking criticism, refusal to value, undermining, exclusion, isolation, removal of authority, increasing of responsibility, starving of resources, overloading with work, etc. Eighteen months of hell culminated in a stress breakdown due to the bullying which was the end of my job, career, income, livelihood, health, marriage, family and home.
Just prior to the stress breakdown and after contact with Andrea Adams I had blown the whistle on the bully’s behaviour. Personnel and the employer responded by protecting, supporting and promoting the bully and getting rid of me, a strategy which happens in around 98% of cases. The cost of my case I estimate to be around £250,000 which was paid for by the taxpayer. Not one penny was charged to the bully’s budget.
Motivated both by the anger of injustice and the need to pay the mortgage I set up the UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line in 1996, then wrote and published my book Bully in sight in December 1996. It has since sold over 67001 copies in 30 countries.
Unable to counsel people on the phone for 12 hours a day indefinitely I set up Bully OnLine in 1997. This is now the world’s largest Internet resource on bullying and related issues.
I know now that the bully in my case has destroyed other employees. Personnel and management finally fired the bully in 1999 five years after I alerted them. Since then his empire has come crashing down and the remnants of his department - which prior to his arrival was set to become the world’s leading supplier of software in its field - will probably be sold to a foreign competitor at a rock bottom price2.
The cost of this bully’s incompetence, and the negligence of the employer, now runs into tens of millions of pounds, all paid for by taxpayers and shareholders. Neither he, nor the employer, have been, nor will they ever be held accountable. Through my Advice Line and web site I have dealt with thousands of similar cases3. Legal action is rarely possible and in most cases impractical. On average, only about 0.5% of cases win compensation commensurate with the detriment suffered.
I recently calculated that the cumulative direct, indirect and consequential costs of bullying to UK plc are in excess of £30 billion annually, equal to a hidden tax of at least £1000 for every working adult each year. It is difficult to conceive of any measure that the government4 could take that would bring about a rapid and dramatic improvement in the performance of the economy and I urge all those involved in parliamentary process to support the Dignity at Work Bill as the first step in eradicating the destructive behaviour of bullying.
Tim Field DBA (Hon)
Author - Publisher - Speaker
Founder, UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line
Author, Bully in sight: how to predict, resist, challenge and combat workplace bullying
Co-author, Bullycide: death at playtime, an exposé of child suicide caused by bullying
Publisher, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: the invisible injury, 2001 edition
Webmaster, Bully OnLine
Biography and profile
Tel 0700 2244383
Success Unlimited, PO Box 67, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 9YS
Notes - May 2005
1. Sales of Bully in sight number approx 11,000
2. This has now happened.
3. The total of cases is well over 10,000.
4. For more on the UK government's disinterest in bullying, and why, see Bullying in the public sector
Lots of information and ideas for tackling bullying including the legal aspects
Action Home Page | Action to tackle bullying
Guidance for employers on policy development
Bullying and the trade unions | Bullying and the law
Case law on bullying, harassment, stress and personal injury
Court judgements in cases relevant to bullying
Long v. Mercury Mobile Communications Services
Hatton Barber et al: 16 practical propositions for a personal injury case
Right to be accompanied | The need for risk assessment
High Court injunction to prevent unfair dismissal | Obstruction to justice
Bullyonline action forum for validation and re-empowerment
UK Dignity at Work Bill | Swedish law on Victimization at Work
Bullying and human rights | Waters v. London Metropolitan Police
Barber v. Somerset County Council
Zimmerman: retaliation in the US courts
Bullying history: books, articles and publications since 1992
How to lobby your MP: example letter and summary of inadequacy of UK law
Amicus Campaign Against Bullying At Work (CABAW)
Tim Field's written submission to the Dignity at Work Bill debate
Getting another job after bullying | How to recover from bullying
Setting up a bullying survivor support group | Sample support group constitution
Using the search engines to find other sites on bullying etc
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Tim Field's book Bully in sight validates the experience of bullying and
defines the injury to health caused by bullying and harassment
The Field Foundation | Bully OnLine
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