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December 10, 2009

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Guidance- Partners join forces to fight violence at work

In 2007, the European Union social partners reached an autonomous

agreement on the need to tackle workplace harassment and violence.

The UK equivalents – the Trades Union Congress (TUC), the Confederation of

British Industry (CBI), and the Partnership of Public Employers (PPE)

have now issued guidance that implements this agreement in the UK.

The European agreement recognises that harassment and violence can:

  • be physical, psychological, and/or sexual;
  • be one-off incidents, or more systematic patterns of behaviour;
  • be among colleagues, between superiors and subordinates, or by third parties such as clients, customers, patients, pupils, etc;
  • range from minor cases of disrespect to more serious acts, including criminal offences, which require the intervention of public authorities.

The guidance has the support of the HSE, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The joint guidance, ‘Preventing workplace harassment and violence’, is available to download at



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