Dignity At Work Now

Encouraging a healthy working environment for all

Flag Day 2011

Dignity At Work Now

(DAWN) Charity number 175. Registered on the 7th September 2005

Tel: 57799000 dignityatwork@gibtelecom.net

 

Press Statement

5th October 2011

 

 

DAWN is happy to invite everyone to come along to the Piazza on Friday the 7th October to support our Flag Day, the 7th edition of the awareness campaign “Ban Bullying Day” and to promote dignity at work in our community. Awareness being our main objective, we will once again be available to give information and say what we are about.

 

It is essential that all members of Gibraltar community recognize and be aware that bullying at work, is an aggressive and threatening behaviour, characterized by the presence of repeated unacceptable, abusive, humiliating, degrading, disrespectful acts, obvious or subtle, sustained in a asymmetric relationship of power that generate victimisation and defencelessness that poses a risk to physical and psychological health to employees that receives them.

Examples of bullying behaviours are:

Social exclusion, withholding information, physical isolation, denied rights and opportunities, negation of information or recourses, inducement to errors, work interfered, excessively supervised, small errors exaggerated, unjustly disciplined, continued and exaggerated criticism, efforts devalued, threats of getting fired, privacy preached, spreading malicious rumours, insults, shouted at, made a fool of, unreasonable workload, unreasonable time or workload.

The objective of bullying is to psychologically weaken the victims to force them to abandon work “voluntarily”. The consequences of bullying include: stress breakdowns, depression, anxiety, burn out syndrome, suicidal risk, deaths in service, sickness absence, ill-health retirements, early retirements, staff turnover, uses of disciplinary procedures, grievances initiated, suspensions, dismissals,  uses of private security firms to snoop on employees, litigation including employment tribunals or legal action against employees, employers and organizations.

 

Bullying affects approximately 10% of the world working population, between 2% and 30% at European level and in Gibraltar 31.1% (Vielma and Buttigieg, 2007).

 

To deal with bullying and its impact DAWN recommends to:

 

  • Break the silence, talk to others you trust about what is happening and report it.
  • Keep a diary with details about the situation, witnesses, how it made you feel, what was said, done or omitted.
  • Get copies of all communications, written or verbal that may be used as evidence.
  • Avoid being alone with the bully and try having witnesses.
  • Find out about bullying at work.
  • Find out if your employer has a code of conduct or dignity at work policy.
  • Contact DAWN helpline for free confidential support.
  • Contact your union if you have one, labour inspectors etc.
  • Look for medical/psychological evaluation/treatment to avoid deterioration of health and have it entered in your medical record.
  • Get medical leave from work to prevent your health deteriorating and to find constructive solutions.
  • Try and reduce other stress factors; do some physical and recreational activities.
  • Get affective and social help from family and close friends.
  • Tell the bully directly or through a mediator that bullying is unacceptable, harmful and that it must stop.
  • Formally and in writing tell Human Resources about the bullying incidents and its negative effects so that it is adequately investigated and sanctioned.
  • Seek legal advice to find out about your working and contractual rights.

 

 

All workforce and organizations should have the right and the commitment to be aware that over 5000 people are being bullied at work in Gibraltar today. Therefore, we all need to be responsible to identify, denounce and prevent whatever kind of ill-treatment at work that may exist and exercise our right to healthy working environment, free from bullying, harassment or any other type of abuse. We need to bring dignity back to our places of work.

 

We invite and encourage the Government, Opposition Parties, Unions, Chambers of Commerce, Gibraltar Federation of Small Business, Bar Association, medical and mental health organizations to actively join forces and efforts with us to support the creation and implementation of a Dignity at Work Policy and Legislation together with health and safety protocols of action and formal procedures to manage conflicts at work with the purpose to prevent bullying and its devastating consequences in our community. We urge the community to actively participate to protect and support the employees that at present continue exposed to bullying within our places of work in Gibraltar.

 

 

 

DIGNITY AT WORK NOW

Dr René Beguelin, (Treasurer) Mrs. Aylen N Vielma, (Secretary)

Mr. Francis P. Buttigieg (Chairman)