This is the original Bullyonline website developed by the late Tim Field. It is provided as a testament to his pioneering work. Visit our new website.

typical cost of a bully to the employer and the impact on productivity and profitability
Half the population are bullied ... most only recognize it when they read this

The typical cost of bullying

Few employers understand how a bully impairs productivity, hinders performance, and damages profitability. This page looks at a typical example of the effect of one serial bully on one department's performance.

Population of the UK: 60,000,000

Number of workers / employees: 28,000,000

The majority of Advice Line cases involve a manager bullying a subordinate in a professional or semi-professional context.

The average wage for a lower-middle level manager or professional is around 20,000 pa.

The effect of bullying on a targeted subordinate is to cut their work rate and effectiveness by 50% (at least), therefore the annual cost of bullying to the employer in this department is 10,000.

The serial bully impairs the effectiveness of other employees, so say a further four employees earning 15,000 pa have their performance impaired by 33% (4 x 5000), plus a further eight employees earning 10,000 pa have their effectiveness cut by 20%. ie 8 x 2000 = 16,000.

Target:        10,000
+4*5000:  20,000
+8*2000:  16,000

Experience from over 10,000 Advice Line cases suggests these estimates are conservative.

The majority of bullying is carried out by a superior, so say the bully is a grade higher on a salary of 25,000pa. The serial bully is a dead weight who survives by plagiarising other peoples' work so his/her annual cost is 25,000. Although glib and plausible, only when the serial bully leaves will it be discovered how little work that person completed - and much of that will be to a poor standard requiring the work to be junked or done again properly.

Serial bully:                 25,000
Effect on employees:   46,000

The lowest estimate of bullying, an IPD survey, estimated that 1 in 8 workers bullied which equates to around 3.5 million people.

For safety, take my estimate of 1 person in 100 being a serial bully, therefore 1/100 of 28 million is 280,000 (less than 1/10th of the CIPD's estimate).

                                                       280,000 x 71,000 = 19.88 billion
Cost of stress and stress-related illness (TUC, HSE, CBI etc): 12 billion

                                                         Cost to UK plc: around 32 billion a year.

This doesn't include consequential costs, legal costs, insurance costs, compensation costs, staff turnover costs, re-recruitment and re-training costs, loss of investment in training and experience, loss of employee potential, benefit costs, injury to health, loss of revenue due to employee being out of work and no longer paying tax, family breakdown, costs to society, etc.

For the latest surveys, estimates, facts and figures on bullying click here.

Where now at Bully OnLine?
How can I recognise that I'm being bullied?
What is bullying and why me? | Definitions of bullying
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about bullying
Overcoming myths, misperceptions and stereotypes
The answer to Why don't you stand up for yourself?
Bullying and vulnerability
Why have my colleagues deserted me?
What's the difference between bullying and mobbing?
What is harassment and discrimination?
Why grievance procedures are inappropriate for dealing with bullying
The difference between bullying and management
Facts, figures, surveys, costs of bullying | Cost of bullying to UK plc
UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line statistics
Profile of the serial bully - who does this describe in your life?
Antisocial Personality Disorder | Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Paranoid Personality Disorder | Borderline Personality Disorder
Bullies and attention-seeking behaviour
Munchausen Syndrome and MSBP
Information for nurses | Information for voluntary sector employees
Information for teachers being bullied
Bullying of lecturers in further education
Bullying of lecturers in higher education
Bullying in the social services sector
Bullying in the public sector - the political dimension and
why trade unions fail to support their members

Bullying in the military | Bullying of students
Scheduled training and conferences on bullying | Other events about bullying
Articles on bullying available online
Bullying on TV, radio and in print media
Requests to take part in surveys etc | Bullying issues needing research
Tim Field's quotes on bullying | Vision for bullying
Feedback about Bully OnLine | Survivor testimonies
The Secret Tragedy of Working: Work Abuse - PTSD Chauncey Hare
Bullying resources in: Australia | Canada | Finland | France | Germany | Ireland | Sweden | USA

Bully OnLine: Site search | Site map | Site index
Welcome page for new visitors

Home Pages
The Field Foundation | Bully OnLine
Workplace bullying | School bullying | Family bullying
Bullying news | Bullying case histories
Bullying resources | Press and media centre
Stress, PTSD and psychiatric injury
Action to tackle bullying | Related issues

Success Unlimited
Books on bullying, PTSD and bullying-related suicide