The Whistleblower Protection Directive was introduced to prevent irregularities from occurring in workplaces. Employees can report violations in various areas, including internal work organization, for example in the case of mobbing. What exactly is mobbing? What forms can it take? Where can employees report it?
What is mobbing?
Mobbing is a form of violence in the workplace where one employee uses his or her power or position to harm another. It can take the form of verbal or physical violence, humiliation, harm, embarrassment, distress, or pressure on other employees. Harassment or intimidation of an employee is long-term and persistent, resulting in a feeling of isolation, exclusion, humiliation, and low self-esteem.
Employers' obligations in the field of mobbing include creating and enforcing an effective policy of counteracting it in the workplace. This policy should include a definition of actions, detailed guidance on how mobbing should be reported, and penalties for its use. Moreover, employers must provide their employees with sufficient support to prevent such illegal activities and take appropriate legal action against perpetrators. They should also organize training for employees to explain what behaviors are unacceptable and provide tools to help resolve conflicts before mobbing occurs.
What forms can mobbing take?
Mobbing can take many forms, including:
- Insults and criticism.
- Ridiculing and public humiliation.
- Restricting access to information.
- Harassment and discrimination.
- Use to get results.
- Exploitation to gain power.
- Hacking into a computer or e-mail.
- Using the company phone to harass employees.
- Unpleasant jokes and comments.
- Exploited to manipulate and induce fear.
What are the consequences for people who commit mobbing?
A person committing mobbing may face legal, financial, social, and professional consequences. Such illegal activities may result in criminal, civil, and disciplinary penalties. Where mobbing leads to bodily injury, severe suffering, or other serious consequences, the perpetrator may be fined, in some cases imprisoned, or made to pay compensation for the damages suffered in terms of lost wages, pain, and suffering, or other loss that occurred as a result.
Where can employees report mobbing?
Thanks to the entry into force of the Whistleblower Protection Directive, employees can report mobbing at work primarily through the internal reporting channel, which may be the Whistleblower system. This fully secure and compliant software is designed to receive and resolve reports from Whistleblowers. What's more, this tool is also a comprehensive platform that allows you to communicate both within the organization and with external Clients. Other ways to report bullying in the workplace include:
- Contact the employer or management directly to clarify the situation.
- Reporting a complaint to the relevant regulatory authority or institutions involved in the investigation of such matters.
- Contact your local trade union for legal advice and support.
- Submission of a complaint to an organization that deals with the protection of employees' rights.
- Filing a complaint with the relevant employment tribunal for compensation.