Managing Workplace Bullying Complaints

HSA launches free online course for employers and managers

Wednesday 14th December

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has today (Wednesday 14th December) launched a free short online course, aimed at assisting employers in managing workplace bullying complaints. It can be accessed through the HSA e-learning portal The 30 minute online course will help employers and managers to understand the nature of bullying complaints and to deal with them appropriately.

Employers and managers need to upskill themselves in order to be ready and capable of recognising what is workplace bullying and what is not, and to be capable of dealing with such complaints, in terms of procedures and policies, promptly and effectively.

The course covers key areas such as what is specific to a bullying complaint, examples of bullying and non-type complaints as well as guidance on the appropriate and inappropriate reaction of managers. It concludes with the anti-bullying policy and the type of information that should be contained in this workplace document.

At the end of this course learners should be able to:

  • identify a bullying-type complaint, whether verbal or written;
  • understand the need to take care in how managers react to such complaints;
  • recognise the particular dangers associated with reacting in a casual, off-hand or insensitive way to such complaints;
  • implement the appropriate policy documents to prevent bullying issues and to properly manage these issues; and
  • source workplace bullying information.

Organisational psychologist and Inspector with the Health and Safety Authority, Patricia Murray said, “The focus on bullying at work is rightly on the victim. However it can be a challenge for organisations and employers to respond appropriately and it is essential that bullying complaints are taken seriously and handled properly.

Ms. Murray added, “Even if the complaint is not bullying per se but another conflict-type relationship breakdown, reasonably presented complaints still need to be attended to and processed properly. This short online course will give managers and employers a good introduction to the subject and plenty of guidance on where to seek further information.”

HSA Education Manager, Joanne Harmon said: “Learners can take courses during their own time, at their own pace and can download a certificate of completion on passing the short assessment. Although not a formal qualification, certification can form part of an individual’s training or continuous professional development record.”

To see the full range of HSA online courses on offer, browse and/or register as a learner on If you are interested in further information on HSA online learning or to register these or other courses for continuing professional development points, contact: .

For further advice and guidance on bullying at work see: