Downturn leads to increase in false bullying claims

by 31 Mar 2009

The current climate of job uncertainty has con tributed to an increase in the number of bul lying claims, in particular false claims, as em ployees try to protect themselves from redundancies through contrived or exagger ated workplace allegations, according to Harmers Workplace Lawyers.

“I’ve seen a significant increase in false bullying claims in recent months, with bully ing and harassment claims arguably at their highest level ever,” said Joydeep Hor, man aging partner of Harmers Workplace Lawyers.

“When employees feel that their employ ment is threatened, many feel cornered and helpless and some even decide to take mat ters into their own hands to protect themselves.

“Given the often high-profile nature of bul lying and harassment cases and the negative impact on a company’s reputation, employ ees can see the bargaining power a claim like this might bring and they hope the claim will mark them ‘off-limits’ for any future redun dancies,” he said.

“Previous downturns would not have seen anywhere near the same number of claims of bullying and harassment … reporting of workplace bullying has steadily increased over the past ten years as employees are bet ter educated about these issues and have better avenues through which to report cases,” Hor said.

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