Half of British workers have been ill-treated at work in the last two years, researchers have found, with several million also suffering from 'impossible workloads'. The study found 4.9 per cent of workers were victims of violence while 22.3 per cent said they were treated in a disrespectful or rude way. Over a quarter, 27 per cent, said they felt ignored. The study, by academics from Cardiff and Plymouth universities, used data from face-to-face interviews with 3,979 workers. It is based on data from the British Workplace Behaviour Survey, gathered in 2008. The team also looked in depth at four large employers, using them as case studies. Workers in the public sector were reported to be 'particularly at risk' of rudeness, disrespect, violence and injury. Disabled employees, those with long-term health problems and younger staff are all more likely to experience ill treatment at work, as were lesbian, gay and bisexual workers. The report claims around 7,000,000 to 8,000,000 British workers suffer from 'impossible workloads' and 'not being listened to'. Managers and supervisors were blamed for two-thirds of incidents of unreasonable behaviour. Professor Ralph Fevre of Cardiff University, one of the report's authors, said: 'Sadly, our study shows that violence, ill-treatment and unreasonable behaviour are all too common in Britain's workplaces.' He added: 'Many managers saw staff welfare as low on their list of priorities, while some even felt ill-treatment of staff was expected of them.'

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