Harassment and Bullying Policy

Harassment and Bullying Policy

The University believes that harassment and bullying are detrimental to the working and learning environment and to individuals’ wellbeing, health, morale and performance. The University is committed to creating an environment that is free from harassment, bullying and victimisation, and instead promotes equality of opportunity and a culture of respect and collegiality. All University staff and students are expected to uphold these principles and to support and promote a bullying and harassment-free working environment.

The purpose of this Harassment and Bullying Policy is to state the University’s position on harassment and bullying, to raise awareness of behaviour that may be considered to amount to harassment and bullying within the work or learning environment and to provide guidance on informal and formal means of dealing with harassment and bullying when it does occur.

The University strongly encourages any staff member or student who considers they are being harassed or bullied to utilise the procedures and support services laid out in this policy. No individual will be treated unfavourably or suffer any detriment for having raised or supported an allegation made in good faith. In turn, the University commits that any allegations of harassment or bullying will be treated seriously and, if proven, this may result in disciplinary action being taken against the perpetrator, up to and including dismissal or expulsion where deemed appropriate.

If an individual believes they are being subjected to harassment, bullying or victimisation, very often an informal approach can effectively address the unwanted behaviour without recourse to formal procedures. Informal approaches can have the advantage of resolving the situation quickly and with minimal disruption to relationships. It is recommended that informal approaches be used in the first instance wherever possible and appropriate and at the earliest opportunity after the incident or unwanted behaviour. Section 5 of the Policy contains further details on potential routes for seeking informal resolution.

The University has also introduced the role of Resolution Support Officers. Resolution Support Officers are volunteers, sought from our staff population, to act as an additional point of contact and source of confidential support for other employees who believe they are being subjected to or witnessing harassment, bullying or victimisation within the workplace. They will act as a signpost for staff to sources of guidance and support, as well as acting as a 'friendly ear' when an individual first identifies that they have a concern and may wish to talk through their perspective of the matter with an impartial individual. Discussions with Resolution Support Officers will remain confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone else without the employee’s consent. For further details of what the Resolution Support Officers can do to assist you, and for details of how to potentially become one yourself, please visit: - Resolution Support Officers 

In the situation where the matter cannot be addressed informally however, or where an attempt at informal resolution is not appropriate, due to the nature, severity or extent of the harassment, bullying or victimisation, for staff members the matter should be dealt with in accordance with Sections 5 and 6 of the University's Resolution Procedure.

Individuals whose concerns relate to actions or behaviour that may amount to sexual harassment should instead refer to the University's Prevention of Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment Policy as any such concerns will be managed in accordance with that procedure if appropriate.