Union notes new legal route to checking harassment at work

UNISON in Scotland has recently alerted its branches to the possibility of
utilising anti-stalking legislation, The Protection from Harassment Act, to
help members who may be harassed either physically or verbally at work. UNISON
Scotland launched a report 'Violent Assaults on Public Service Workers in
Scotland' highlighting the continuing high level of assaults on public service
workers and an action plan to address this issue. Part of that action plan is
making better use of the remedies available to UNISON members who are the
victims of violent incidents at work both from the public and other staff -
including bullying and harassment.

This briefing covers one of those remedies the Protection from Harassment Act
1997. The general principle behind the Act is to protect persons from


In terms of Section 8 of the Act every individual has the right to be free from
harassment and the person must not pursue a course of conduct which amounts to
harassment of another. The course of conduct must either be intended to amount
to harassment of the person or occurs in circumstances where it would appear to
a reasonable person that it would amount to harassment of that person.

  • The course of conduct must involve conduct on at least 2 occasions.
  • The harassment includes causing the person alarm or distress.
  • The conduct includes speech. This means that the conduct in question is
    therefore not confined to physical abuse or violence. It applies to verbal

Further info 

AplusA-online.de - Source: Health & Safety Executive