Dignity At Work – Legal Issues (5)

Protection from Harassment Act

Miles v Gilbank

  • Green was bullied by 4 female colleagues, who ­

– Pointedly ignored her or stared at her
– Excluded her from conversations, lunches etc
– Made crude/lewd comments about her
– Removed her name from circulation lists
– Hid her post, then gave her a week’s worth on Fridays

  • Also bullied by a male manager & male colleague (P.) ­

– Both were abrasive / aggressive
– She was given work at the last minute
– P. passed off work as his own and take Green’s work
– He gave clients the impression he was Green’s boss                                                                                                                                                 – Following a holiday Green unable to return to work
– She was admitted to a psychiatric hospital and placed on suicide watch

  • Returned to work around 6 months later

– Following her return to work, she suffered a further breakdown

  • Decision: DB liable for both Green’s breakdowns ­

– Under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997
– The behaviours amounted to harassment & were closely connected to employment
– In negligence
– DB had failed to take adequate steps to protect Green from the behaviour