ONE YEAR ON from the launch of a website designed to provide help and advice for people suffering from bullying in the workplace, the MSP behind the plan says she has been taken aback by the number of people continuing to report such bullying.
Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant announced the website www.tobie.org.uk in a high-profile launch in Elgin and Inverness last December. It came on the back of a high number of contacts from constituents throughout the Highlands and Moray who were concerned about workplace bullying.
One year on, the website has been contacted by over 7000 people seeking advice and support.
Mrs Grant said: “I was contacted by so many individuals who had a story to tell – sad to say, most said that they had suffered in silence because they had no idea where to turn.
“I am delighted that so many have visited the website – but at the same time I am taken aback by the fact that throughout the Highlands and Moray there are so many people who have been or continue to be adversely treated by bullies.”
Mrs Grant is now considering looking into the benefits of making bullying a specific offence, similar to those categorised under the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.
In that she may have the support of Cabinet Secretary and Moray MSP, Richard Lochhead, who said: “I have no doubt that if Rhoda Grant takes this up with relevant Scottish ministers they will treat her views seriously and see if it can be taken forward.
“Genuine cases of bullying in the workplace should be treated severely by any employer and people should feel confident in pursuing a solution.”
Moray Council have recently taken forward their own steps to deal with bullying in the workplace, the authority having cleared a £136,000 investment in finding measures that would improve staff morale and eradicate any such behaviour amongst their own workforce.