Two million workers claim to have been bullied at work in the past six months, a TUC survey suggests.
Bullying costs workers and business dear, the TUC says
In total, the TUC estimated that UK business loses an estimated 18 million working days a year through the effects of workplace bullying.
According to unions, acts of bullying range from verbal abuse to serious physical assault.
The TUC said the results of its survey should lead the government to introduce legislation outlawing bullying at work.
"These figures suggest that there can be few workplaces in the UK without a resident bully," Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, said.
"But although bullying can destroy lives and have a damaging effect upon workplace morale, the overwhelming majority of employers seem unable to stop bullies in their tracks," he added.
Senior managers are amongst the worse perpetrators, unions and other bodies have claimed.
Research carried out by Unison and Acas found that almost half of middle managers claim they have been bullied, mostly by their own bosses.
Last month the government launched the Dignity at Work scheme, Europe's biggest anti-bullying campaign.
The scheme is backed by £1m in government money and supported by firms such as the Royal Mail, British Airways and Legal & General, as well as the anti-bullying charity, Andrea Adams Trust.