Aim of the session. Describe the legislation (and it's consequences) in relation to harassment and bullyingDescribe the University's procedure supporting the Harassment PolicyIdentify and define bullying or harassing behaviour in a work contextUnderstand the support structures in place for staffUnderstand what is meant by the term dignity at work.
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1. Dignity at Work Equality and Diversity Unit
2. Aim of the session Describe the legislation (and it’s consequences) in relation to harassment and bullying
Describe the University’s procedure supporting the Harassment Policy
Identify and define bullying or harassing behaviour in a work context
Understand the support structures in place for staff
Understand what is meant by the term dignity at work
3. Legislation Employees are protected legally from discrimination, harassment and victimisation in the following areas;
Sex (including pregnancy, maternity leave, marriage or if you intend to, are undergoing or have undergone gender reassignment)
Sexual harassment (unwanted verbal, visual or physical conduct)
Race (protection on the ground of race, ethnicity or nationality)
Religion or belief (which includes philosophical belief and non-belief)
Additionally you are protected from;
Unfair dismissal (due to a neglect of an employers ‘duty of care’)
Breach of contract due to health and safety regulations
4. University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow is committed to promoting equality in all its activities and aims to provide a work, learning, research and teaching environment free from discrimination and unfair treatment.
The University wants to foster a culture which is
Respectful of all employees
Promotes equal treatment
Encourages new and innovative talent
Where colleagues can work together in productive, professional relationships
5. University’s Harassment Policy No definition of ‘harassment’ provided
It is not the intention of the harasser but the conduct itself and the impact on the recipient which determine what constitutes harassment.
6. Dealing with harassment Informal procedure
The harassee should approach the alleged harasser (through a meeting or in writing) informing them that they find their behaviour unacceptable
The resulting discussion should be recorded and agreed between the two (or more) parties
The aim of the discussion should be to resolve the matter informally and through agreement
The harassee can take a representative with them to the meeting (TU rep, colleague, friend or Harassment Advisor)
7. Dealing with harassment cont. Formal procedure
Cases which are not resolved informally, or are considered too serious are referred to the appropriate level of line management for further investigation.
It will then fall into the ambit of the appropriate procedure such as grievance, complaints and/or disciplinary.
8. Dealing with harassment cont. Possible outcomes of the formal process
Resolution e.g. conciliation
Oral, written or final written warnings
Counselling for the alleged harasser and/or complainant
Moving the alleged harasser or complainant to another location
Confirmation of the alleged harasser’s innocence
Dismissal of the harassee
9. What is harassment and bullying? Harassment in general terms is;
Unwanted conduct affecting the dignity of men and women in the workplace. It may be related to age, sex, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation, nationality or any personal characteristic of the individual, and maybe a persistent or an isolated incident. The key is that the actions or comments are viewed as demeaning and unacceptable to the recipient.*
Bullying may be characterised as
Offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means or intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.*
* Definitions from ACAS Guidance for Employees: Bullying and Harassment at Work http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=797
10. What can constitute harassment? Verbal, written or email harassment through derogatory remarks, jokes, insults, offensive language, gossip or slander.
Unjustified exclusion – e.g. withholding information, not talking to, not including in discussions or meetings, or exclusion from social occasions (this can be unintentional exclusion).
Setting unrealistic objectives (i.e. setting someone up for failure)
Unfair allocation of work and responsibilities
Overbearing supervision or other misuse of power or position
Deliberately undermining a competent worker by overloading them with work and/or constant criticism
11. What can constitute bullying? Open aggression, threats, shouting and unpredictable outbursts
Physical contact including invasion of personal space, inappropriate touching and assault.
Belittling, marginalising or ridiculing; taking credit for someone else’s work, but never taking the blame if something goes wrong.
Frequent unjustifiable criticism
Twisting what someone says or does
12. Recent case law example English vs. Thomas Sanderson Ltd
Mr English had his claim upheld by the Court of Appeal (CoA) against his employer. He successfully claimed under the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Act that he had be subject to years of sexual innuendo based on his perceived sexual orientation, when in fact he was married with three children. The judge stated;
The CoA has held that harassment at work on the grounds of sexual orientation can occur irrespective of the victim's actual sexual orientation or the tormentors' perception of his orientation.
13. What can staff expect from the UoG? If you report harassment the University will;
Conduct an impartial investigation
Provide access to a Harassment Adviser
Treat your case with sensitivity
Protect you from victimisation
Provide you with an external Employee Counselling Service
14. What does the UoG expect from staff? To treat colleagues with dignity and respect at all times
Maintain professional, business relationships with all colleagues
Discuss any inappropriate behaviour with the alleged perpetrator
To seek advice from a Harassment Advisor
To report incidents to a line manager or Human Resources
15. Support provided by the UoG Harassment Advisers Network provides;
Confidential advice to support staff who think they may be being harassed
Assistance in writing letters/emails to support staff in the informal stages
Attendance at the first meetings, and any follow-up meetings conducted during the informal stages
16. Support provided by the UoG cont. Employee Counselling Service provides
Assistance to employees to resolve work related and personal problems and regain their ability to work at full capacity;
24-hour support for all University employees
Is totally independent of the University
0800 389 7851 (Helpline)
0800 435 768 (to arrange an appointment)
17. Harassment Adviser’s
18. What is dignity at work? Treating all colleagues with respect and creating professional, business-like relationships.
Benefits of this include:
Increased job satisfaction
Increased levels of pride in work
Positive attitudes towards change and the opportunity to learn new skills
Reduced work-related stress and health problems
19. Further information Additional information is available from;
Equality and Diversity Unit
20. Q&A Any questions?
Human Resources Manager – Medical Faculty
Director Equality and Diversity Unit