Dealing with bullying | Association of Anaesthetists

Dealing with bullying

What to do if you’re experiencing problems

Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect at work, and we all have a role in making sure that happens.

Bullying manifests itself in many ways including openly aggressive, humiliating or insulting behaviour. Or sometimes it can be more subtle or more passive aggressive, which is harder to identify.

Read about our alliance against bullying


We campaign on behalf of trainees with anti-workplace-bullying campaigns like #Knockitout; which aims to create a positive workplace culture that is free from bullying, harassment and undermining behaviours.

Find out more about #Knockitout

Download our #Knockitout graphics

Examples of bullying behaviour

You may experience bullying behaviour from a manager, someone in your team or someone you manage.

Perhaps you’ve been on the receiving end of verbal - even physical - abuse. Or you’ve been constantly criticised or micromanaged. Perhaps someone has made derogatory comments or ‘jokes’ about your gender, sexual orientation, age, faith or disability. Maybe someone’s threatened you about job security or patient care in order to get you to comply with work demands. Or you’ve experienced inappropriate touching or sexual comments.

What you can do if you’re being bullied at work

Don’t suffer in silence. Tell a colleague what’s going on. By sharing your experience, you may discover it’s happening to other people too. You may also want to talk to your manager, supervisor or someone in the HR team.

It’s worth keeping a record of the incidents too. Just make a note in your diary what was said or done. This could be useful if you decide to take action later.

You may also want to talk calmly to the person who’s bullying you and tell them you find their behaviour unacceptable. Perhaps they don’t realise the effect their jokes or comments are having on you.

If none of the above address the issue, you can make a formal complaint. Talk to your HR team about your employer’s grievance procedure.

Your employer has a duty of care to protect you in the workplace from harmful acts like bullying.

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