Having grown up in the retail side of the motor industry it is fair to say I witnessed my fair share of ‘banter’ within the workplace. Whether it was car keys mysteriously disappearing just before a customer handover or hole punches being emptied in air vents, it was all part of the ‘banter’ of working in the car sales industry.
Having read yesterday about an 18-year-old apprentice mechanic hanging himself over bullying at work it did get me thinking, when does 'banter' cross the line and become bullying?
There is no legal definition of bullying. Acas, however, defines workplace bullying as “offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the person being bullied”.
Of course, employers have a duty of care for all their employees to prevent bullying and harassment. They also have responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 for the welfare of employees.
Learning a trade is something that not many young people seem to consider these days – and to be honest, I’m not sure why. Being an electrician, plumber, mechanic, or anything else that’s considered a ‘trade’ can be lucrative – and often tradesmen (or women) are self-employed so they get to be flexible with when they work.
We all remember how daunting it was stepping into the big bad world of employment and articles like the below surely cannot help when trying to attract young people to our industry.
An apprentice mechanic at a Sytner Audi dealership hanged himself after bullying by colleagues.