Dignity and respect at work
- We promise to treat all employees with respect. We expect you to do the same and treat colleagues as you’d like to be treated. This applies both inside and outside of the workplace.
Harassment and bullying
- We treat all allegations of harassment and bullying very seriously. We deal with them confidentially and need you to do the same until you have given us the opportunity to address them.
- If you have witnessed harassment or bullying please immediately let your manager know or their manager where it involves them.
- If we consider that you have harassed or bullied another employee or someone else connected to your employment you will be subject to the disciplinary process. Such behaviour may constitute gross misconduct.
What is harassment and bullying?
- Harassment is any unwanted physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct associated with a protected characteristic which has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. A single incident can amount to harassment. Harassment may include, for example:
- mocking or belittling a person’s disability;
- unwelcome sexual advances;
- sending or displaying pornographic material that is or that some people may find offensive;
- jokes or derogatory or stereotypical remarks about a particular ethnic or religious group or gender.
- Bullying is intimidating or offensive behaviour making a person feel upset, or threatened. It is not constructive criticism.
- If you think you are being bullied or harassed and you feel able, you should initially raise any issue informally with the person responsible or your manager. You should approach the person responsible and explain that their actions are unwanted, give them examples, explain how they make you feel and how you would like to move forwards from these concerns. If informal discussions are unsuccessful or not appropriate you should follow the formal approach.
- If you’ve tried the informal approach or you don’t think that’s appropriate you should put a formal complaint in writing to your manager. If the allegations are against your manager you should raise your concerns with another individual of the same seniority as your manager, or their manager. Your formal written complaint should explain the details of the concerns, the name of the harasser or bully, the nature and details of the harassment or bullying, the date(s) and time(s) when it occurred, the names of any witnesses and any action that has been taken so far to attempt to stop it from occurring. If you have any suggestions as to how you think the issues might be resolved please share them. If you decide not to pursue the complaint we may decide to continue it ourselves, if appropriate.
- We will investigate allegations confidentially where possible. We will meet with you. You can be accompanied by a colleague or a trade union representative of your choice, who must respect the confidentiality of the investigation.
- We will also meet with the alleged harasser or bully to hear their account of events. They have a right to be told the details of the allegations against them, so that they can respond. We will also meet with any witness we consider to be relevant.
- If your manager considers that harassment or bullying has occurred action will be taken to address it. It may be appropriate to arrange coaching, counselling, a change of working location or reporting lines (or anything else we consider appropriate). We will write to you confirming the outcome. If you are not satisfied with the outcome you may appeal in writing to the person identified within the outcome letter (being someone more senior than the person who dealt with the allegations initially), stating your full grounds of appeal. You need to appeal within seven working days of the date on which our decision was sent to you.
- If you provide misleading, exaggerated or false information as part of this process you will be subject to disciplinary proceedings.