Anti-Bullying Week: An explainer

Many of us will experience some form of bullying in our lives. This most commonly takes place at school, although it can also impact us at work in our adult lives. Bullying doesn’t stop at the school gate, with many workers experiencing bullying daily at work from colleagues and employers.

This week is Anti-Bullying Week, check out our explainer below ⬇️

What is Anti-Bullying Week?

Anti-Bullying Week is an annual event to raise awareness around bullying. The theme for Anti-Bullying Week in 2021 is ‘One Kind Word’.

It is organised in England and Wales by a charity called the Anti-Bullying Alliance, in Scotland by respectme, and in Northern Ireland by the Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum.

When is Anti-Bullying Week?

Anti-Bullying Week takes place on the third week of November. This year, that is the 15th to 19th of November 2021.

What classes as bullying?

Bullying and harassment is behaviour that makes someone feel intimidated or upset. This can include but is not limited to: regularly picking on someone, frequently undermining someone, harassing someone, or spreading malicious rumours. It can take place in person or virtually.

How prevalent is bullying in the workplace?

It is estimated that 23% of the British workforce has been bullied at work. The Acas helpline receives over 20,000 calls annually.

I’m being bullied in work – what can I do?

As bullying varies widely from person to person, there is no one size fits all approach to combatting it.

As a rule it is good to keep a diary or record of the bullying, including how the bullying made you feel, when it happened, any documented evidence (emails, social media posts etc) and any witnesses.

Find out more about what we’re doing to stamp out bullying in the workplace here.

I’m an employer – what are my responsibilities?

All organisations should have a policy on bullying and how it should be handled. It is your legal obligation to provide your employees with a safe place to work.

Harassment based on protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010 is also against the law, and as an employer it is your duty to uphold the Equality Act.

If an employee leaves their role due to bullying that nothing was done about, this would be grounds to claim constructive dismissal.

How can Community help me?

If you are a Community member, and you have any questions or concerns, do contact your union rep or the member service centre.


If you are a member of Community and need help or advice, please contact us at help@community-tu.org or on 0800 389 6332.



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