The BBC is drawing up a 'comprehensive definition' of what constitutes bullying after concerns raised by trade unions about a growing level of complaints, writes Leigh Holmwood

The BBC is drawing up a 'comprehensive definition' of what constitutes bullying after concerns raised by trade unions about a growing level of complaints, writes Leigh Holmwood

Draft proposals were put before Bectu and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) last week by the BBC's human resources department.

The measures include increasing the number of specially trained 'harassment advisors' across the BBC, who would give confidential guidance to staff complaining about bullying. The BBC already has some advisors offering this service.

The unions this week told Broadcast that they welcomed the proposals, although they said more effort was needed. 'It is not enough for the BBC and local managers to just review their own behaviour,' said NUJ representative Paul McLaughlin. 'We need an independent view brought to bear on it for the procedure to have some credibility.'

The number of complaints of bullying within the BBC is rising, according to the unions. NUJ deputy general secretary John Fray said: 'We are dealing with a lot more cases than we previously had. People are finding the courage to come forward.'

Former BBC newsreader Laurie Mayer, who claims he was sacked after highlighting a 'vindictive climate of fear' at the regional Tunbridge Wells newsroom, is due to have his full case heard at an industrial tribunal in September.

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