The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has said that more needs to be done to tackle bullying in the workplace and has urged employers to take action against it.

The organisation has published a new handbook titled Stop Bullying, which contains legal requirements and guidelines for employers and gives advice on how to tackle the problem.

Bullying, the union claims, is sometimes seen by managers as an acceptable way to ensure staff meet deadlines. But it insists this can have a negative impact and can lead to stress and absence.

Lena Calvert, equality officer at the NUJ, said: "Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect at work, but too often this is not the case."

She said bullying is a major cause of stress-related illness and is one of the most common complaints made by employees.

According to studies seen by HR & Diversity Management, ten per cent of employees have experienced bullying at work and 20 per cent have left their jobs because of it.