We support your right and opportunity to seek, obtain and hold employment without discrimination and with respect for your dignity. Our equal opportunities and diversity provisions embrace principles supportive of equal treatment without discrimination. We expect and require everyone to recognise and observe the statutorily protected characteristics.
Bullying and harassment in the workplace are discriminatory acts which in any form is unacceptable and in most cases unlawful. We are committed to providing a working environment which is harmonious and acceptable to all. We extend this principle to the people our organisation deals with.
What Is Bullying?
Bullying may be characterised as “offensive, malicious, intimidating or insulting behaviour”. It can be an “abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient”.
What Is Harassment?
Harassment is “unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which violates an individual’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual”.
Harassment is not only unacceptable language or behaviour which causes the recipient to be embarrassed, offended or threatened. Someone may complain about particular behaviour that they find offensive even though it was not directed at them. Neither does the person complaining need to possess the protected characteristic. It may also be behaviour directed at someone who associates with a person who has a protected characteristic or because they are believed to possess a protected characteristic (even if they don’t).
It is your duty to treat people with respect; appreciating their feelings and considering their well-being in what you say or do. What may be acceptable to one person may upset and/or intimidate another. Bullying and harassment take many forms and can range from relatively mild banter to actual physical violence. They can be delivered in many ways and this policy applies to all forms of communication including text messages, email and comments posted on social networking sites.
The following are examples of behaviour which we consider constitutes harassment:
• Coarse or insensitive jokes and pranks.
• Coarse or insensitive comments about appearance or character.
• Display or distribution of offensive material whether written or pictorial.
• Deliberate exclusion or isolation from conversation or activities.
• Unwelcome familiarity or body contact.
• Abusive, insulting, or threatening language.
• Demands or threats to intimidate or obtain favours.
• Threatened or actual violence.
This is not intended as an exhaustive list.
We will investigate all allegations of such behaviour. Offenders are liable to disciplinary action and, in serious cases, dismissal.
If you feel you are being harassed, the first step is to make clear you want it to stop. Tell the person harassing you that you find such behaviour unacceptable. Person-to-person discussion at an early stage is often enough to stop harassment. Alternately, you could seek the help of a trusted colleague and ask them to approach the person causing offence on your behalf.
If the behaviour continues, or you consider an instance to be particularly serious, please implement the grievance procedure. We assure you that grievances will be dealt with promptly and in a discreet and caring manner.
Where you make or support a complaint in good faith, you will not be victimised for doing so whatever transpires.
We are unable, however, to protect anyone who maliciously makes or supports an untrue complaint. We investigate such occurrences utilising our disciplinary procedure.