In Focus: Profession takes zero-tolerance approach to bullying

The GOC convened a meeting with professional bodies after its survey identified widespread discrimination. Andrew McCarthy-McClean reports

Professional optical bodies have jointly committed to a zero-tolerance approach to bullying, harassment, abuse, and discrimination across all working environments.

A meeting was convened by the General Optical Council on October 3 after registrants reported experiencing significant levels of bullying and harassment in a survey.

Leonie Milliner, GOC chief executive and registrar, said: ‘We were extremely concerned about the findings of our Registrant Workforce and Perceptions survey, which found that high numbers of optical professionals are experiencing bullying, harassment, abuse, or discrimination in the workplace, which go largely unreported.

‘It is critical for public protection and patient care that optical professionals can work in supportive environments without fear of abuse. Negative and unhealthy workplace cultures can have a detrimental effect on both recruitment and retention, potentially leading to workforce shortages, with consequential negative impacts on patient care.

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