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Bullies - workplace hazard

Bullying and harassment toolkit

19 November 2017

Bullying and harassment are a major hazard for UCU members.

The UCU stress toolkit provides the resources to help branches tackle workplace bullying and harassment.

Factsheets for members


'Workplace violence - don't ignore it' poster - male [74kb]

Bullies are a workplace hazard - poster [122kb]

Cyber-bullying is a workplace hazard - poster [77kb]

'Staff notice: this is no place for' poster [151kb]

No entry for bullies - poster [65kb]

No entry for bullies - poster 2 [90kb]

'Workplace violence - don't ignore it' poster - female [67kb]

Hard copies of these posters can also be ordered, as well as sets of stickers - please email

Additional resources

Some employers accused of bullying often claim that it isn't bullying, it is simply a robust managerial approach; and that in an academic environment staff should be able to deal with that by argument and debate. This simple questionnaire should help you test if your employer is a bully or merely 'robust': Robust management style or bullying? - UCU factsheet [131kb]

UCU and other unions have reached a national agreement with the Association of College for all FE colleges which branches and LAs can use as a model for local implementation: Guidelines on harassment & bullying in FE (England) [89kb]

- a two-day UCU course for reps

Model member letter to manager on bullying & harassment [145kb]

UCU template survey on bullying [176kb]

Example survey on bullying - South Thames College [35kb]

Example survey on bullying - Leeds Metropolitan University [91kb]

Further information

Stress toolkit

Safety representatives, branches and LAs should approach their regional office initially for advice or contact the health and safety advice service.

See also, UCU's Equality resource centre.

Other sources of information

Health and Safety Executive
Rose Court
2 Southwark Bridge
London SE1 9HS

Useful publications:
Management Standards for Work Related Stress
Tackling Work related stress in education
Guidance for Safety Representatives

Equality Challenge Unit
7th floor, Queens House
55/56 Lincoln's Inn Fields
London WC2A 3LJ

Useful publications:
Handbook on Dignity at Work for HE Institutions (includes input from UCU)

Association of Colleges
2-5 Stedham Place
London WC1A 1HU

ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)
Brandon House
180 Borough High Street
London SE1 1LW
Guidance on bullying and harassment

Labour Research Department
78 Blackfriars Road
London SE1 8HF

Useful publications:
Tackling bullying and harassment - a trade unionist's guide

Trades Union Congress
See TUC health and safety pages

College and University Support Network
Excellent web site and professional counselling and support

Last updated: 11 March 2019