Serious or recurring conflicts at the workplace

Conflicts of a serious or recurring nature is a broad notion which can entail different forms of conflicts, harassment or abuse. This can be any unwanted behaviour which one finds offensive or which makes one feel intimidated, humiliated or degraded. In addition, the behaviour must be of a particularly serious nature, or frequent over a long period of time. It is irrelevant whether the actions are an expression of thoughtlessness or an outright desire to offend. It is the person's experience of the abusive acts that stands central. An example of the latter can be bullying. This entails abusive behaviour which is repeated against the same person or group. This behaviour can be expressed both through active actions and by failing to act in certain situations, whereby the victims of these acts are unable to defend themselves effectively. Also forms of discrimination based on age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation as well as forms of violence, either physical or emotional, can fall under this category. Examples of behaviour that can constitute serious or recurring conflicts at the workplace are hurtful remarks, sending offensive messages or pictures, exploitation at work or violence and threats. Undergoing harassment and other abusive behaviour can lead to different physical, psychological and behavioural reactions by the victims but also to witnesses of this behaviour such as headaches or nausea, anxiety, memory and concentration problems or sleeplessness. Therefore, employers are obliged to ensure that employees do not suffer harm as a result of these actions from employees at work.