Am I being bullied or harassed or is it just banter?

Our advice will help you determine whether you’re being bullied or harassed and offer guidance for dealing with it

Adam Morgan CSP’s senior negotiating officer for Wales and West Midlands

Bullying and harassment is a big problem in the workplace. The TUC suggests 29 per cent of people have experienced bullying at work. 

The most recent NHS staff survey reports that between 18 and 19 per cent of staff have experienced bullying, harassment or abuse from a manager or colleague. It can be difficult to differentiate whether it is ‘just banter’ or bullying or harassment. If behaviours, comments or

If you identify that any behaviour you have experienced could be bullying or harassment, speak to your local CSP representative for advice.Check back here for more advice on managing bullying and harassment in a future issue. 

actions make you feel uncomfortable then it could be bullying or harassment.  If this occurs, it is unacceptable.

It is bullying if:

  • You experience behaviour that is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting, or involves an abuse of power intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure you. 
  • This may be individual-to-individual or involve groups of people. It can involve persons in positions of power. 

It is harassment if:

  • You experience unwanted conduct, actions or comments related to a protected characteristic such as age, sex, gender reassignment, race, disability, sexual orientation or nationality
  • These behaviours attempt to or have the effect of violating your dignity and/or create an environment that is intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive.

If these behaviours are of a sexual nature this is sexual harassment.

Harassment related to a protected characteristic is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010. Harassment also occurs if it is because of a protected characteristic that somebody believes you have or because of a protected characteristic it is known you do not have. 

Wherever you work, this behaviour should not be tolerated. 


  • Adam Morgan is the CSP’s senior negotiating officer for Wales and West Midlands



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