My boss is a bully

I started a new job three months ago and have been bullied by my boss ever since. She makes me feel inadequate, blames me for her mistakes, and calls me after work, in my lunch break, and on days off - always about trivial things. I've become depressed and can't bear to go into work. Is there anything I can do?

The first thing you can do is keep a record of the things your boss has been doing. Note the date and time of incidents and, if possible, make a note of anybody else who was around when they happened. This will help you if you decide to take any further action.

If you’re in a small company and your boss has no superior it might be difficult to raise a complaint so you might need to decide whether you need to look for alternative employment or not. If, on the other hand, you’re in a larger company and your boss has a superior you could make an approach to them about the bullying. Most large companies, and those in the public and not-for-profit sectors, will have an anti-bullying, harassment or dignity at work policy that you can use to help make a complaint against your boss. Check your written terms and conditions to see if there is a procedure for dealing with a situation like this.

If you belong to a Trade Union you can contact them for support and advice. If you don’t belong to a TU you may want to seek advice from the HR department. Bullying UK provides information and resources about how to cope with workplace bullying, as well as offering a support line.

If you decide to leave the firm you might not be able to take action for unfair constructive dismissal as you’ve not worked for the company for a year. However, since bullying can be seen as a health and safety issue, you might be able to go to an Employment Tribunal if you leave. You can get further advice and information about employment tribunals from Acas – they have a helpline you can call on 08457 474747.

In the meantime, if you’re feeling low or depressed about this situation you can call SupportLine on 020 8554 9004 for confidential support and advice. There are also a number of organisations that offer more specialitst advice on bullying at work, you can find them on BullyOnline.


Next Steps

  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.