Three white ping pong balls are laughing at a sad orange ping pong ball on a keyboard, symbolising bullying at work.
Image: © filipobr/

Government approves new code of practice on bullying at work

3 Feb 2021

The new code of conduct, developed by the WRC and HSA, provides a framework for preventing and resolving bullying in the workplace.

The Government has approved the publication of a new code of conduct around bullying in the workplace. It was developed by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and Health and Safety Authority (HSA).

Called the Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work, it has been published under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.

The new code effectively merges and revises a previous HSA code of the same name, published in 2007, with the Labour Relations Commission’s Code of Practice Detailing Procedures for Addressing Bullying in the Workplace, issued in 2002.

It applies to all employment in Ireland, whether based in an office, at home or remote. Employers and employees can access practical guidance on how to manage workplace bullying complaints, prevent workplace bullying and intervene when bullying arises.

Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English, TD, said the code is a “very welcome and important piece of collaborative work from the WRC and HSA” and “provides a framework for fostering a culture of respect in the workplace”.

“The code provides practical guidance for organisations regarding the importance of having in place the right measures of anti-bullying policies and procedures, the existence of which will have clear benefits for both employees and the employing organisations,” he added.

HSA CEO Sharon McGuinness highlighted the responsibility of employers to protect employees’ safety in the workplace.

“This joint code contains practical guidance on how to prevent and address workplace bullying, which will be of significant benefit to employers, employees and their representatives,” McGuinness said. “Workplace bullying is a serious health and safety issue and employers and employees all have a role in promoting a positive workplace free from such behaviours.”

Liam Kelly, director general at WRC, added that two separate codes have been in existence for almost two decades and having a single, revised document will now “bring further clarity to all workplaces”.

“I hope [it will] assist in reducing incidences of workplace bullying and help employers and employees resolve and address them when they do occur.”

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

Loading now, one moment please! Loading