Bullying in the workplace is costing business millions of pounds, West Midlands companies have been told.

The Birmingham divisions of recruitment consultants Angela Mortimer made bullying and harassment the main topic for discussion at its latest Employment Briefing.

Law firm Eaton Ryan & Taylor hosted the event at Birmingham Repertory Theatre and told companies the problem could have a major impact on profits not just on individual staff.

Jeremy Cornwall, of AM Legal, a division of Angela Mortimer, said: "Bullying in the workplace is not something new but it has possibly been ignored in the past - to the detriment of both staff and companies.

"Those being bullied clearly feel the adverse effect but what is not always talked about is the cost it has for the business itself.

"Productivity can be reduced and cases of absenteeism will rise which can cost individual firms thousands of pounds.

"The key advice is to ensure that there are tight controls throughout your business to ensure bullying doesn't take place. Failure to do so could result in costly legal action for employers. If it does happen, complaints must be taken seriously and nip-ping things in the bud is the best course of action."