My boss is bullying me and I’m really unhappy at work. What can I do?

Posted on Sep 17th, 2008 | Employment law

Firstly, have you spoken to a senior manager or your personnel/HR department (if you have one), or a Trade Union official (if you’re a member of a Union) about this? You need to speak to someone first before you make an official accusation as they may be able to help with this. Your employer has a legal duty to protect your health, safety and welfare while you’re at work, and they should be interested in making sure there is a good atmosphere at work.

You need to start making a diary of events if you haven’t done this already, documenting your boss’s behaviour that you are unhappy with, as this gives you a record to show other people. Take a note also of the conversations you’ve with management in your organisation about this issue.

Fed up of the nine to five? Find out more about working for yourself.

If you feel that management aren’t taking you seriously and an informal approach to resolve the problem hasn’t worked you can put in a grievance claim (only employees can do this). Your employer must give you access to a grievance procedure so you should be able to find out how to go about doing this and follow the instructions in their procedure.

If nothing is done or you don’t find the outcome of any grievance satisfactory, you may feel your only option is to leave and try to claim constructive dismissal, but you should get advice before you make this move, as it’s sometimes difficult to prove. Click here for more information on dismissals.

Also see our information on Equality and Discrimination here.

There are several organisations that provide free advice about your rights and specifically about bullying:

TUC (Trades Union Council) – their website is and they have free booklets and an advice line on 0870 600 4882.

Citizens Advice Bureau – their website is

Direct Gov – their website is

Also the UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line’s website is at

If you are an Employer and need ongoing professional help with any staff/freelance issues then talk to us at The HR Kiosk (click here) a Human Resources Consultancy for small businesses – you can retain us for as much time as you need.

Please note that the advice given on this website and by our Advisors is guidance only and cannot be taken as an authoritative interpretation of the law. It can also not be seen as specific advice for individual cases. Please also note that there are differences in legislation in Northern Ireland.

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