Experts push to criminalise workplace bullying

The Equality Development and Research Centre (EDRC) is set to begin pushing for legislation to criminalise workplace bullying in the country.

The legislation is expected to make bullying a criminal offence in accordance with the law like any other criminal offence in the Constitution.

Founder EDRC, Marsha Nwanne said there is a need to lobby legislators to see they look into bullying and consider pushing it forward to combat the bullying pandemic.

Nwanne said this in Abuja at the training for staff of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) on workplace bullying.

She listed the effects of bullying on individuals to include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), panic attacks, depression, poor concentration, low self-esteem, suicide, a lot more and hurts organisations in form of replacing staff that leave as a result of bullying, low morale and productivity, breakdown of trust, failures to meet organisations goal and a lot more.

Her words, “Once people realise that what they are doing is wrong, and even experiencing it is wrong on all levels that is the beginning of the success story. We have come a little farther to say that we intend to intervene.

“We have psycho-social support doctors who are willing to work with us and a lot of them are even on a pro bono basis. We also have a child psychologist and these are people who intend to break that cycle which we established in the training that bullying starts at school and moves to workplaces. We have a couple of lawyers as well on pro bono who intend to assist us in championing this cause.

“We would be advocating for laws that will deal specifically with bullying and to achieve that, there’s a need to lobby legislators to see that they look at it and consider pushing it forward to combat the bullying pandemic.”

The Director-General NIHSA, Mr Clement Nze, said the training was apt as it was all about having a good work environment and bringing to staff knowledge, some acts or practices by persons that could hinder productivity and create tension among the workforce which will make people not give their best.

He added, “This is good for the agency for the staff to know their boundaries, how to relate with individuals.”

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