Thursday, 29 October 2015

Being bullied whilst suffering ill health is not that uncommon.

It is enough to have ill heath without then finding that that is just the beginning of your problems. It seems unfair, cruel even. Who needs it! Unfortunately some of us get it! How to cope. Firstly, recognise it! identifies bullying 'as a common form of psychological violence which is a major cause of stress and trauma; bullying is also identified as the underlying behaviour of harassment, discrimination, prejudice, abuse, conflict and violence, as well as the current limiting factor for human evolution.'

The first steps to helping yourself is to face up to the fact that you are being bullied. Surprisingly many people do not identify or cannot admit to this fact, using sites such as and other resources from google and this site will help with identification.

Is your workplace toxic. Check the facts. If it is toxic, the culture will not help you to tackle being bullied and may fail to help, recognise or even believe you. 

Is your workplace dysfunctional, restrictive, hypocritical or remote? Does your workplace have narcissistic leaders, mis-communication or no communication? Does it have enforced change management without consultation, inconsistency in following policies or lip-service paid to policy. Is there nepotism or a management buddy system?

Do workers work silently or are they angry and disgruntled? Is there low moral and little inter-worker support or trust. Are you micro-managed, or terrified of making a mistake? Is there any trust between staff? Is there a high rate of sickness, stress and mental or physical ill-health? IT IS TOXIC!

If you are currently suffering or have suffered ill health do you want or need to spend 8 hours a day on what feels like an assault course. A job should provide some interest and should not be something you dread doing. You deserve better!

Many people who work do not feel that they can afford or want to be in a union. Think carefully about this decision. Where will you go and who can assist you when you work in a toxic work-place?

Unfortunately, HR may only be there to assist management from being sued or may be ineffective, they may not have your best interests at heart. What you tell them may not be guaranteed to be confidential, especially if your information could harm the company or you are seen as a whistleblower. 

What is the culture and nature of your work-place? You do not need to be unionised through your salary. In fact soon statute will stop this form of funding to unions. Therefore, there is no reason why you cannot be in a union in a private capacity, it does not need to be confided to your company. Membership usually brings with it information, legal advice, representation and other benefits. Speak to a union and see what it can offer you. 

Are you insured for legal advice on your house contents insurance? Your household contents insurance will usually have a legal advice add on. Check if this is added to your insurance. If it is not, think about adding it, it is cheap and you may be entitled to at least £50,000 or more representation and advice. 

Do you belong to any civil service or government networks. Check that you may have legal add ons. 

Did you know that if you have cancer or have had cancer that you are protected under the Equality Act as a disabled person?

Are you working on an exit strategy by re-skilling or budgeting? Are you by out your entitlements to benefits or checking all your insurances? Have you got critical illness insurance? have you remembered to check to see if your ill-health would mean you can claim on the policy? Are you insured for time off with cancer, under any workplace insurance? You would be surprised how many people forget to check. Have you talked to Macmillan or read their very helpful booklets on financial and other issues?

Also,  for those reading this who are families or friends of people with cancer, who also may be suffering bullying, have you got critical illness cover in place? For those who get a life threatening or incapacitating illness this can be a financial life-saver.

Finally, if you are going through a bullying experience or are a recent survivor, are you being kind to yourself! Are you supporting yourself or seeking support. You owe it to yourself, you are valuable, you are unique and you are important!

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