Gavin Williamson’s bullying behaviour is unlikely to be tolerated in the workplace, says employment lawyer Rhian Radia, a Partner at Bishop & Sewell.
“The expletive-filled text messages sent by Gavin Williamson to fellow MP Wendy Morton would be considered bullying in any normal working environment and be treated very differently. His subsequent apology that seeks to downplay the seriousness of his actions stating that he was frustrated and pointing to a more positive working relationship going forward in an attempt to normalise his behaviour would be unlikely to be acceptable at work.
“Bullying in the workplace is different to harassment which is linked to a protected characteristic, such as sex or race. That said, its impact for all parties is significant. Employees may resign and bring constructive dismissal claims on the back of bullying at work. Workplace bullies can become a liability for their employer, particularly when multiple complaints are made. It takes up valuable management time dealing with grievances about bullying and has a detrimental impact on morale. Businesses should have robust bullying policies that allow staff to air grievances and provide training that helps managers moderate and change their behaviour. This would also be good practice for MPs.”
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The above is accurate as at 08 November 2022. The information above may be subject to change during these ever-changing times
The content of this event should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.