Violence at work

In some of the sectors private contractors work in, violence at work is a serious problem.

It is consistently raised by UNISON members as one of their greatest concerns at work.

Incidents include staff being punched, pushed and kicked while carrying out their jobs. Staff are threatened and sometimes even held against their will. In addition to more extreme incidents, it is clear that lower level violence and verbal abuse is worryingly, seen by some staff, as a routine part of their working lives.

Employers already have a legal duty to protect their staff, but UNISON’s charter aims to raise awareness and encourage best practice in tackling violence at work. We want to put an end to it being seen as either a routine or normal part of the job.

Violence at Work Charter

UNISON’s Violence at Work Charter is a list of 10 basic actions that employers can take to improve safety at work for their staff. They include appropriate training, support for the victims of violence and monitoring of incidents.

Read our Violence at Work Charter (PDF)

UNISON is challenging employers to sign up to the charter to show that they take the issue seriously – and will take action to reduce violent incidents in the workplace.

Has your employer signed the charter yet?

Get more involved

If you are a UNISON member and want to get your employer to sign the charter, please email our private contractors team:

If you experience violence at work

  • If you experience violence at work you should:
  •  Inform your line manager immediately.
  •  If you are able to, make sure the organisation’s policies are followed in relation to safety and violence.
  • If you require further support, contact your UNISON rep or your branch. (You can call UNISON Direct free if you’re not sure what branch you are in: 0800 0 857 857. Have your UNISON membership number handy if possible.)
  • Find out if your employer is signed up to the Violence at Work Charter. If they are, ask them to follow the commitments in the charter.

If you’re not yet a UNISON member, you can join now and get better protection at work and home.

What the Health and Safety Executive says about violence at work

End violence at work for private contractors charter

Has your employer made the commitment to end violence at work and signed UNISON’s charter?

Read more