Local MSP Rhoda Grant, Labour, is reminding people of a website established to help and support victims of bullying. Originally set up in 2014 when it had 10,000 hits the Tobie (Tackling Obsessive Behaviour in Employment) site has seen a decline in usage which has prompted Rhoda Grant to remind people of its existence.
Tobie has links to other websites: Bullying UK, TUC, ACAS, GOV.UK, UNISON, UNITE the Union and Cyber-bullying. As at writing its most recent post was 22nd June 2016.
In July 2018 the Scottish Government published a revised Code of Conduct for councillors. The code which applies to all elected councillors in Scotland was strengthened to explicitly prohibit harassment and bullying.
Most recently after serious allegations of bullying at NHS Highland the Scottish Government appointed John Sturrock QC to head an independent review to investigate. Over 100 clinicians said there was a culture of fear and intimidation at NHS Highland.
John Sturrock QC said:
“My primary role is to provide a safe and confidential place for people to be heard and to explore with them what the underlying issues might be.
“I hope that, by better understanding the circumstances, acknowledging the impact on individuals and services and learning lessons from the past, confidence and effective working relationships can be rebuilt.”
Commenting on her Tobie website Rhoda Grant said:
“The individual who suffers at the hands of bullies is scarred for a very long time if not for life. Sadly, this can happen at any time in a person’s life, from childhood to old age.
“Such behaviour causes mental health issues to the innocent sufferer who is subject to bouts of anxiety, depression, stress, associated illnesses and ultimately absence from school, college or work.
“Employers have a key role to play in trying to stamp out this anti-social and unacceptable behaviour and as a stepping stone in the right direction, every employer and every school or college should make sure they have an anti-bullying policy which all staff are aware of.
“ I would like to think that any acts of bullying within the workplace or elsewhere, like at school or college, will be viewed seriously and where there is evidence, the perpetrator will be subject to disciplinary process”.
“Of course it is hard to get people to talk about bullying, but I would plead with anyone who is subjected to this form of cowardly behaviour to speak to someone about it in the first place, whether that be a colleague or a Line Manager or even a parent or guardian.
“I am hopeful that my site will continue to enable sufferers to seek that right advice and guidance, point them in the right direction and hopefully see the individual being in a position to deal with the bully and break away from this unwanted and despicable behaviour. The message is clearly “you are not alone” but together we can tackle this behaviour”.