Workplace bullying costs the Irish economy €239 million a year in lost productivity a new study from NUI Galway has suggested.
Statistical research examining the impacts of workplace bullying estimates that 1.7 million workdays are lost as result of the impacts of bullying in the workplace each year.
The study was led by Dr John Cullinan of the Discipline of Economics and Dr Margaret Hodgins from the Discipline of Health Promotion at NUIG.
“Workplace bullying is a pervasive problem with significant personal and wider costs,” Dr Cullinan said.
“In addition to lost productivity from workplace bullying, there are also likely to be costs associated with early retirement and presenteeism.”
He added that though people are working from home far more due to Covid-19, the damage done by bullying is unlikely to
In a previous study the same research team looked at the relationship between bullying and work-related stress in Ireland.
The current study builds on this to examine the economic costs of workplace bullying.
In addition to estimating the number of days lost, and the €239 million price tag comes with that, the study also found that although bullying is more prevalent in the public sector, it has a larger effect on absences in the private sector.
Dr Hodgins said that in order to tackle this problem, organisations need an anti-bullying policy to let employees know that it won’t be tolerated.
“However a policy is insufficient in itself and it is vital that it is implemented fairly and in a timely fashion.
“Ideally, organisations should be proactive, identifying how and when bullying occurs in the organisation, and be prepared to develop specific interventions that are appropriate to context.”