Unite the Union

Unite the Union

December 25, 2007 19:01 ET

Charity Workers Ask for Dignity at Work for Christmas

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 25, 2007) -

Attention: Social Affairs, Religion and Industrial Correspondents and News Desks

In a survey of workers from voluntary organisations by Unite the union 42% of respondents claimed to have been bullied at work.

Many charity workers will give up their Christmas to help others this year doing jobs such as working in soup kitchens, manning crisis telephone hotlines and working in animal shelters.

Workers said they had experienced criticism, sarcasm and teasing. A quarter or those questioned had experienced shouting or temper tantrums while one fifth had been subjected to intimidating body language and had been undermined and humiliated.

Bullying in the workplace is estimated to cost UK employers over Pounds Sterling 2 billion a year in sick pay, staff turnover and loss of production. 18% of those questioned said they had taken time off work due to bullying. 43.2% worried about coming back to work, 34.8% said they felt they were less productive at work and 7.7% said it had made them move jobs.

23.6% reported that it lead to anxiety and panic attacks. Other impacts on health reported included lack of sleep, depression, high blood pressure and miscarriage.

Rachael Maskell, Unite National Officer for the Voluntary Sector says:
"The survey results are shocking. Charity workers give of themselves all year round to help others and often give up their Christmas and New Year. It is outrageous that employers have let so much unacceptable behaviour, bullying and harassment go on. Bullying wrecks work and family as well as destroys those on the receiving end. This has to be tackled.

Unite will not cease campaigning until we are assured that all organisations have taken a comprehensive approach to promoting Dignity at Work. Unite will not tolerate unacceptable behaviour from bosses or anyone else. There is no place for bullying in the workplace."

Unite are launching a Dignity at Work comprehensive guide for union representatives. It will help workers and those that represent them to create a climate of respect in the workplace and effectively deal with issues when they arise.

Voluntary sector Dignity at work campaign website:


Contact Information

  • Unite (Amicus section)
    Jody Whitehill
    07768 693956