Oct 8th 2019

News Update: 1 in 4 ethnic minority workers experience harassment at work

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According to the 2019 Race at Work survey, published by the organisation Business in the Community, one in four BAME employees in the UK report experiencing bullying and harassment at work despite most UK employers having zero-tolerance policies. The report also looked into what employers are doing to combat the issue and found that less than half of businesses had carried out reviews into bullying or harassment in their workplace.

It goes without saying, bullying has a devastating impact on mental health and victims of bullying or harassment may not feel comfortable or confident enough to speak out about it. Employers must not only recognise that they have a duty of care towards their employees, including their mental health, but also that they may not feel comfortable to share these problems with them.  Active steps need to be taken to create a culture where those experiencing challenges or issues feel supported enough to open up and talk about them. Not only will this provide those suffering with an outlet for their stress and upset, but allow the employer to address the problems at hand.

As stated by Sandra Kerr, race campaign director at Business in the Community, many employers ‘are recognising the importance of a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and harassment but the results show this needs to be matched with consistent action.’ Kerr added that employers needed to create ‘inclusive organisational cultures’ where workers feel valued and confident enough to share any problems they’re experiencing.

At Tempo, we recognise the importance and responsibility of employers in taking active steps to create an inclusive environment so that employees experiencing challenges or problems know they’ll be supported. Since April, Tempo has worked with Sanctus. Sanctus partner with businesses to empower people to work on their mental health and are on a mission to change the perception of it by normalising conversations around mental health and increasing people’s understanding of the matter. Every month a professional Sanctus coach comes to the Tempo office to provide hour long sessions with any member of the Tempo team who has booked one in. Sanctus and the safe space they provide has been a welcome addition to Tempo life and has made the team feel as though they can be open and honest about any challenges they’re facing both in the workplace and in their personal life.

An inclusive and supportive culture is not only key in letting employees know their mental health is valued but also encourages them to share any problems their facing, therefore enabling employers to tackle the root of the problem such as internal bullying. There is also a strong business case for promoting good employee wellbeing as it creates a more engaged, productive and motivated workforce.

Read more here about how we work with Sanctus and the positive effect this has had on the team and overall culture.