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Wednesday, 2 October, 2002, 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK
One in four workers 'suffer bullying'
A worried looking office manager
Middle managers are most at risk of being victimised
Nearly a quarter of all employees claim to have been bullied at work during the last year, a report has said.

And one in 12 of the 3,500 employees surveyed said that they were the victims of regular at-work bullying.


The high rate of bullying amongst managers is a particular area of concern

Dr Patrick Gilbert, Mercer Human Resources
Even middle and senior managers said they felt victimised by more senior colleagues, the survey, by Mercer Human Resources Consulting, found.

Workers in the public healthcare sector were the most at risk of bullying.

Physical abuse

At-work bullying, as defined for the survey, ranged from rude discourteous treatment, threats to out-and-out physical abuse.

Employees surveyed had clear views as to what was acceptable behaviour by managers and colleagues and what constituted bullying.

Dr Patrick Gilbert, head of research at Mercer, said that if these findings were applied to the UK workforce then "over 1.5m workers could be the victims of repeated bullying at work".

At risk

It seems it toughest at the top, 24% of middle managers and 17% of senior managers said they had been bullied at least once over the past year.

Mr Gilbert said: "The high rate of bullying amongst managers is a particular area of concern.

"If managers are the victims of bullying, they are more likely to bully the people they manage."

By sector, public healthcare proved a bullying breeding ground, with 28% of employees interviewed claiming they had been harrassed at least once in the last year.

Store workers were the happiest, with less than one in five saying they had fallen victim to bullying.

See also:

26 Sep 02 | Health
04 Sep 01 | Business
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