AcademicFOI.Com: Workplace Bullying & Harassment

KEY FINDINGS
At least 1,957 university staff asked for support or advice due to bullying or harassment during 2007, 2008 and 2009. The true figure is likely to be a great deal higher since many universities do not record the numbers of informal complaints. 998 formal investigations were made into complaints of bullying or harassment. 764 of these investigations concluded that no bullying or harassment had taken place. 234 investigations upheld the complaints giving an average 23% uphold rate.

MISSION GROUPS
At Russell group universities 34% of complaints were upheld whilst at Million+ universities only 11% of complaints were upheld. This would suggest that Million+ universities either have a significant problem with false accusations or systems of investigation which are wholly defective. Alliance group universities averaged 16%. 1994 group universities averaged 19%. Guild HE universities averaged 23% whilst the universities not in any mission group averaged 29%.

HIGHEST AND LOWEST UPHOLD RATES
At the 3 universities most highly placed in the THE World University Rankings – Cambridge, Oxford and Imperial - 54% of bullying complaints were upheld.
We have identified 41 UK universities with a 0% uphold rate. At these institutions at least 430 staff had sought informal advice about bullying and 56 staff had left citing bullying as a reason. 169 investigations were mounted only to find no evidence of bullying in any of the cases.

STAFF GRADES
Complaints of bullying by staff on a similar grade were upheld in 27% of cases. Complaints against staff on higher grades were upheld in 16% of cases. Complaints against members of the senior executive team - defined as the 10 or so most senior members of staff - were upheld in 15% of cases.

LEGAL COSTS
£1.35M was spent on legal fees in connection with bullying complaints. The true figure will be significantly higher due to the use of in-house lawyers, legal insurance policies and an astonishingly high number of instances where invoices from solicitors were not broken down by reference to specific cases.

REASONS FOR LEAVING
137 staff cited bullying and harassment as a reason that they left the university. The true number will be significantly higher due to the considerable number of universities who appear to file staff exit questionnaires without analysing or reporting the contents.

FOLLOW UP ACTIONS
Dismissals were rarely cited as follow up actions to proven cases of bullying. Only 20 staff were dismissed out of 234 proven cases. No dismissals took place at Million+ universities whilst 13 staff were dismissed at Russell Group institutions.

From: http://academicfoi.com/bullyingharassment/index.htm