The rise of quiet firing is a concerning ‘trend’ for employers and employees.
Far beyond giving someone the cold shoulder, quiet firing is negative behaviour from employers that leaves employees feeling they have no choice but to leave their job.
To understand more about the nation’s experiences in the workplace, we carried out a
survey of over 2,400 respondents. As part of this study, we reveal common management failings and who has been affected as well as shedding light on solutions.
90% Of People Don’t Know What Quiet Firing Is
This alarming stat was the key discovery in our findings. It raises serious concerns around whether employees can identify unlawful behaviour in the workplace. Knowing when you’re experiencing quiet firing gives you the right to bring employment claims such as discrimination and constructive dismissal claims.
When we dig further, we uncovered that awareness differed between demographic groups:
- Students are most aware of quiet firing (21%)
- Unskilled manual workers are least aware of quiet firing (95%)
- Only 13% of people in a junior role are aware of quiet firing
- Creative and media industries are most aware of quiet firing
- Beauty and wellbeing are the industries least aware of quiet firing.
But Quiet Firing Is Most Noticeable Amongst Women
We asked respondents to detail whether they’ve experienced a number of inappropriate workplace behaviours ranging from being left out of a meeting to being passed over for promotion.
However, being made to feel uncomfortable by someone at work was the main reason women left their jobs, impacting 28% of women surveyed.
A quarter of women also said that their role had been changed without proper explanation or consultation, creating an unnerving and uncertain working environment. This, alongside being excluded, looked over or ignored, can force women from their jobs.
Further stats include:
- 23% of women in work have been actively ignored by their manager
- 1/4 of women have been in roles where they’ve not received feedback
- 23% of women in the workplace have purposely had information withheld from them making them want to leave their roles.
London Employees Are Most Unaware Of Quiet Firing
In the capital, 86% of Londoners aren’t aware of quiet firing, the highest in the nation.
Further stats include:
- 29% of employees in Greater London say that they’ve experienced unexpected role or responsibility changes
- 1/4 of people in Greater London have regularly had information purposely withheld from them
- 25% of people in Greater London have experienced someone making their life uncomfortable, encouraging them to leave
- 25% of people in Greater London have experienced a lack of feedback in their role
- 22% of people in Greater London have been actively passed over for promotion
- 18% of employees in Greater London have been undermined in a meeting
- 14% of employees in Greater London have been left out of social aspects of their role making them want to leave
- 13% of employees in Greater London have experienced communication stopping entirely forcing them to leave their role
- 20% of people in Greater London believe that they’re more likely to be quietly fired by male leaders.
Why Is This Important?
With 34% of the UK experiencing workplace bullying “disguised” as banter, it’s concerning that unlawful working environments are commonplace.
On the whole there are a lot of excellent examples of great businesses looking after employees but sadly there are some examples where this isn’t the case.
Deborah Casale, Partner in our London employment team, had this to say about the findings.
“The widespread knowledge gap among employees around quiet firing is concerning. This type of behaviour can form grounds for constructive dismissal if it breaches the implied term of trust and confidence in the employment relationship and the employee has more than two years of service.
Employees should be aware of their legal rights in these situations and should take advice at an early stage to protect their position. Likewise, employers need to be aware of the dangers of quiet firing.”
Examples of behaviour that can form the grounds for constructive dismissal include:
- Being made to feel uncomfortable
- Being ignored by your manager
- Stopping internal communication
- A sudden or unexplained change of role or responsibilities
- Being left out of socials
- Being left out of meetings
- Being passed over for promotion
- Lack of feedback
- Having information withheld
- Being undermined in a meeting
If you’ve been a victim of a unlawful workplace culture or quit your job as a result, we know how debilitating and powerless you must be feeling.
Our employment solicitors are here to help advise on the best course of action and whether you have a case for constructive dismissal.