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Last updated: Monday, March 30, 2020 - 14:06


DCU research looks at gender and outcomes of work-related bullying cases

DCU research looks at gender and outcomes of work-related bullying cases

New research carried out by the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre in DCU has found that bullying in the workplace is the cause of one in ten dismissals in Ireland.

The research looks at profiles and outcomes of 99 work-related cases taken to the Employment Appeals Tribunal under the Unfair Dismissals Acts between June 2013 and September 2015, in which bullying is referenced by claimants.

It finds that while there is an even gender balance in claims, males are more likely to be respondents. It also shows that male employees are less likely to take a case against a female colleague.

Findings also highlight the importance for employers to have robust procedures in place, as the data shows that more than half (53%) of employers against whom a case was taken did not have appropriate policies or follow appropriate procedures when dealing with a bullying complaint. It also shows that claimants were less successful in obtaining awards where responding employers were found to have developed policies.

While the largest award made against an employer during this period was €2.5million, this sum was not typical of the others made, leaving the average award during this period to be €20,000.

Commenting on the findings, James O’Higgins Norman, co-author of the report and director of the National Anti-Bullying Resource and Research Centre, said:

“This research serves as a warning to employers to ensure that they develop and implement appropriate policies and practices that will not only provide them with some protection in court cases but more importantly to promote a respect and dignity in the workplace.”

The report will be launched at a half-day seminar taking place on Wednesday, 21st October entitled ‘Managing Bullying in the Workplace’. Aimed at employers and employees alike, the seminar has been organised by the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre and the Health and Safety Authority to highlight the level of bullying in the workplace during European Health and Safety Week 2015.

Attendees at this event will be given guidance on topics such as conflict awareness, progressing and escalating complaints, keeping records and the terms of reference for investigations.

For further details or to register for this event, visit registration

To download a copy of the full report, visit

19th October, 2015