Pranks in the workplace

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If you are aware of bullying taking place, immediate actions is required.

Author: Roxanne Bradley
Published:
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 4 years old.

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Most employers would prefer their employees to get on well, however some employees may regularly play pranks on each other. Do you need to intervene?

Physical injuries could be caused by horseplay or being victimised at work can have a impact on mental health.

As shown earlier this year in May, a inquest in Reading heard how a mechanic at Reading Audi killed himself partly due to repeated abuse from colleagues, including being locked in a cage and set alight, being pressure washed and driven around in the boot of a car.

By standing by and allowing assaults to take place is obviously not a option. If you are aware of bullying taking place, immediate actions is required. In the above matter, the garage took action after the event.

Horseplay which causes harm could also mean there is a risk to the company, either by a criminal prosecution under the Health and Safety Work ect Act 1974 or by a civil case.

One of the factors which will be considered in such cases is whether the acts of staff are something which should have been anticipated. If there is evidence of similar events in the past, its likely the employer will be held responsible.

Its worthwhile ensuring within the terms and conditions of employment, horseplay is banned and it will be regarded as a disciplinary offence. If any complaint of bullying / assault / horseplay or harassment arises, ensure this is investigated and dealt with appropriately.

Roxanne Bradley

Legal Advisor

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