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Bullies have harassed 14 percent of workers over past 6 months
Date:6/4/2009

2000, the International Labour Organisation said the prevalence of alleged cases of workplace abuse was 5%, a similar figure to the one now obtained by this study.

The results also provide evidence that women are most frequently on the receiving end of workplace harassment, which coincides with the results of other studies carried out on the issue.

Dismantling the myths about mobbing

However, the study by Gonzlez and Graa contradicts previous results that indicated that workers under the age of 30 were "the most vulnerable to harassment". The study shows that those aged over 45 are more likely to be the victims of such abuse.

The myth about workers on temporary contracts being more likely to suffer abuse is also turned on its head. According to the research, "it has been shown that it is not the youngest workers who are most exposed to workplace abuse, but in fact workers with supposedly greater contractual stability" who suffer more from this type of behaviour.

Workplaces with less than 50 workers are also shown to be more likely environments for mobbing, probably because of the absence of a "health and safety committee" (these are established in the Law on Workplace Risk Prevention), which are common features in larger places of work.

Some of the factors that tend to figure most frequently among victims of mobbing include membership of a union, having had previous experience of time off work or having had specialist treatment.

Lastly, the study also shows that only 9% of cases of abuse are carried out by subordinates, while 47.2% of the cases recorded were of vertically-descending abuse, also known as bossing, which is the most common form of abuse in Spain.


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FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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