Yes. Employers are obliged to have proper formal and informal procedures in place for the processing of complaints by employees.
The Health and Safety Authority produced a code of practice on the prevention and resolution of workplace bullying in 2007.
This code is regularly relied upon by the Courts as being the yardstick definition of bullying as follows:
“repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could reasonably regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity at work”
- The Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work was introduced in 2007 under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and is a code for both employers and employees and is administered by the Health and Safety Authority.
- The Code of Practice detailing Procedures for Addressing Bullying in the Workplace is made under the Industrial Relations Act 1990 and is administered by the Workplace Relations Commission.
There is no employment law statute which outlaws bullying per se but an employer who engages in bullying, or tolerates such inappropriate behaviour, risks being sued for personal injury resulting from such behaviour and would also be in breach of the duty of care explicit in the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 for the protection of the health and welfare of the employee.