For an overview of bullying and harassment, watch our video.
Bullying may be characterised as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.
Harassment can be defined as unwanted conduct affecting the dignity of men and women in the workplace. It may be related to age, sex, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation, nationality or any personal characteristic of the individual, and may be persistent or an isolated incident.
The key difference between bullying and harassment, is that harassment is linked to a personal characteristic of the recipient, and therefore linked to anti-discrimination law in the case of protected characteristics in this country.
It is against the law under the Equality Act 2010 to discriminate against someone because of a protected characteristic. These protected characteristics are:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion and belief
- Sexual orientation