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Bullying, Discrimination And Harassment: Recognising Them and Knowing the Difference

Whatever the nature of your business and whatever path you should choose for your career, it’s likely that you’re peripherally aware of your worker’s rights. Workers have the right to do their job in a place of safety and comfort without. They are expected to behave professionally and with decency and not victimise others who are different to themselves and should expect the same of their colleagues, bosses and employers. While most employers know that they are legally protected against discrimination, it can muddy the waters when they’re unsure what constitutes bullying, harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Moreover, many people are unaware what they should do if they find themselves (Heaven forbid) subject to these inappropriate and potentially illegal behaviours.

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This uncertainty can cause employees to raise grievances against colleagues that fail to conform to the defined parameters of bullying, harassment and discrimination or (worse still), let inexcusable behaviour from bosses and colleagues go unchallenged.

Defining discrimination

Employers are not allowed to discriminate against employees on the grounds of their gender, gender identity, age, skin colour, religion or sexual orientation. Many of us are aware of that but what might discrimination upon these grounds look like in real terms? Employers are not legally allowed to choose who they hire based on the grounds of any of the above. A colleague of mine once attended an interview in which the interviewer asked her if she had any plans to have children, as it would have a sizeable impact over whether or not she would get the job. She correctly asserted that they should not have asked that question as it demonstrates clear discrimination on the basis of her gender. She (quite rightly) walked out there and then. Needless to say your employer is not allowed to dismiss you on this basis either. If you feel that you have been let go unfairly or in a discriminatory manner you must seek legal advice against this unfair dismissal. Aside from hiring and firing, there are many other types of discrimination that could occur in the workplace.

Discriminating against particular employees when assigning holiday leave, sick leave or maternity leave, restricting use of company facilities or denying certain employees compensations or benefits are also egregious forms of discrimination.

The difference between harassment and bullying

In real terms harassment and bullying look much the same. Both involve inappropriate and / or aggressive behaviour towards an employee. Both involve unwanted or unwarranted conduct, and both lead to an employee feeling victimised at work. Legally speaking, however, there is a difference. Harassment, in its strictest legal definition, is linked to the protected characteristics of the employee (i.e. race, gender, religion etc.). Therefore if a colleague is openly sexist or racist towards you this is within the legal parameters of harassment.

Bullying, however, has no such legal definition. Though it is chiefly defined as aggressive or malicious behaviour, bullying has no presence within the statute books, but this does not mean that employees who experience bullying are without recourse.

Duty of care

Employees have a duty of care towards their employees and bullying, even if it falls outside of the strict parameters of harassment, clearly contravenes this duty of care. Thus, your employer should have an infrastructure in place to ensure that you can raise a grievance against any other employee (whatever their position or status) without the risk of reprisals from the organisation or any particular individual.

*This post is contributed to Spicy Scribbler Blog

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4 Top Tips For New Businesses

Starting your own business, or starting a new project, can always be a daunting prospect. Having a plan, source of funding, people you trust to work with, or establishing your reputation, are worries that we all have.

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Keep Your Current Job

A lot of people jump into their new business, quit their daytime job and put all their effort, and all the hours of their day, into the new project. This isn’t always the best idea though. Having another income puts less stress and responsibility on your business to succeed. If this added pressure isn’t there, you’re probably more likely to succeed. Stressing and putting too much into a new venture can be problematic. This means you might be less likely to take risks, and make business choices that could be really good for the growth of your company. All in all, keep the day job and choose to be adventurous with your new venture.

Work With Others

Even though you might believe you are a genius and your idea is going to take off, no one gets anywhere without some help. This could come in the form of a business partner, which would take a lot a stress off you, and mean you can share the hours it takes to run the business. Yes, it would mean sharing the profit, but they might have untapped expertise and knowledge you could utilise.

Likewise, having a mentor could have similar benefits too. Knowing someone who is willing to share their knowledge about the world you are about to enter, and has been successful themselves, is invaluable. The will be able to tell you what could succeed and what probably won’t as well as give you feedback and positive criticism on how your business is doing. Having a mentor with you along the way, gives you a great second opinion, especially if you’re going at it solo.

Take Advantage of Software

There are many kinds of apps and software that can help you to run your business, like ThePaystubs.com. This kind of software can save you time, and give you clarity, when your business gets on its feet.

Be Interested in What You Do

If your don’t care about what your business has to offer people, chances are you will lose interest in the project quickly. Being passionate about what you do is underrated, and is key to any successful business. When you are putting in all the hours of the day, and are feeling down and despondent, which happens to everyone, your passion will be why you carry on.

If you are interested in the services and products your business has to offer, chances are you will understand how make your business more successful. If you are also your target demographic, this gives you insight to the market you are appealing to.

Running a business has its challenges, and is always a steep learning cub. Being creative and being sensible and realistic will give any new business an edge. Follow these top tips to get the best from yours.

*This post is contributed to Spicy Scribbler Blog

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Surprisingly Cheap Destinations Around The World

Anyone who loves to travel will usually admit to also enjoying doing so on the cheap. There is something great about being able to save a lot of money as you travel the world, and yet it can often seem very difficult to actually do that. The truth is that you need to prepare and plan a lot if you want to manage this – but that is not to say that it is therefore not possible. As long as you know what you are doing, it is actually relatively straightforward to travel quite cheaply, even if you are going on a big world tour. A big part of this is ensuring that you find a good range of inexpensive destinations. Fortunately, there are plenty of those to choose from. Let’s take a look at some of the best.

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Mexico

There is no corner of the world where you can’t find a cheap destination to fly to and stay and enjoy your holiday. What’s more, some of the most popular destinations can also be cheap if you know how to go about it. A great example of this is Mexico. This is a country which you can visit very cheaply, and yet you can still expect to experience a first class kind of journey and stay throughout. Part of the reason for this is that the cost structure there is very different to many other places you can travel, which makes it very cheap for travellers, especially those from further afield.

It is also true that part of the reason for low prices in Mexico is that there is a relatively poor public perception of the country on the world’s stage. However, this does not tend to equate with the experiences that travellers really have when they visit the country. If you visit Mexico, you will surely find it every bit the welcoming and enjoyable trip, and yet you will also have the joy of paying relatively little for it too.

You will also be pleasantly surprised at just how easy it is to find top, five-star hotels for prices you would never see in many other parts of the world. If you are coming from Europe, you can prepare to be especially blown away by the amount of fantastic resorts which you can find on the cheap. All in all, Mexico is  great country to consider if you would like to both save a little cash and invest in some fantastic memories with your loved ones.

Singapore

Many Asian destinations are famously cheap to travel to and stay in, but some also offer some fantastic advantages that other might be missing. A great one for those who like to experience a genuine taste of culture shock but without completely getting lost is to visit Singapore. If you have never considered this particular destination, here are a few reasons why you might want to re-think it.

Singapore is extremely popular as a tourist destination – in fact, in many years recently it has been the single most visited Asian city, and the fifth most visited city in the world. You would think that this would drive prices up, but the opposite effect seems to have taken place. Sure, for those with the top money it is always going to be a favorite spot to really splash out, but the budget traveller can make a lot of this fantastic city as well. It’s all about how you approach it in the first place.

If you take a look at the price of renting a hdb in Singapore, you might be pleasantly surprised at just how cheap it can be. These prices are also reflected in the more temporary accommodation as well however, so short-term visitors will find it easy to get hold of a cheap and cheerful hotel. As for eating out and finding entertainment, there is hardly anywhere in Asia more suited to allowing those on a budget to have a fantastic time. No matter what you are hoping to do, you can surely make it happen in Singapore – and without breaking the bank in the process.

Memphis

If you are looking for a US destination where you don’t have to worry about money, you have a lot of options. One particularly stands out, however: Memphis. Famously the home of Elvis himself (and still home to his Graceland), this is a city which just oozes Americana history. Not many people are aware of just how cheap it is to stay in Memphis; the truth is, it is one of the cheapest cities anywhere in the US, and also the world.

If you are a keen music buff, then you will find this an absolutely essential visit. If not however, it is still a beautiful and stunning location to visit, with a great many ways to stay entertained throughout the trip. There is a huge range of types of accommodation, meaning that you don’t need to worry about being able to stay, and getting around the city is famously cheap as well. All in all, it is a must-try location for anyone in the US looking for a particularly cheap and yet full-on holiday experience.

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One of the great things about Memphis is that it also offers some of the largest portion sizes in food anywhere in the country. You will be able to eat for a very little amount of money indeed, and don’t go thinking that that means the quality isn’t good. Along with music, food is something that Memphis takes very seriously indeed, so you are bound to be delighted and charmed by this fabulous city.

No matter what kind of a trip you would like to have, it is perfectly possible to find a cheap way to do it. There are more inexpensive locations around the world than you might think, and that makes it extremely easy indeed. Consider that the next time you are thinking of planning your travels around the world.

*This post is contributed to Spicy Scribbler Blog