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Bullying, harassment and discrimination

Bullying, harassment, and discrimination can include gender-based violence, hate, micro-aggressions, or a safeguarding concern.

We encourage colleagues to resolve issues informally as this is often the quickest and most effective method of dealing with harassment or bullying. We have support measures in place to reflect this and the informal and formal procedures for colleagues are outlined below.

For more information about what we mean by bullying, harassment, and discrimination please see our Dignity at Work policy.

What next?

Resolving issues informally

If you think you are being subjected to harassment or bullying in any form, you may wish to consider the following course of action:

  • if possible, you should make it clear to your colleague that you are being subjected to unwanted behaviour and you would like them to alter this behaviour. This can be done in person or by letter/email.
  • note, it is helpful if you have specific examples, or evidence of the unwanted behaviour, and can say why this has made you feel uncomfortable.
  • a record of the discussion and copies of any correspondence should be kept by both parties if follow-up action becomes necessary.

You can ask for support to write the letter/ email or for someone to attend the meeting with you such as a Harassment Support Advisor, your line manager, a colleague or a trade union representative.

You can ask for support to write the letter/ email or for someone to attend the meeting with you such as your line manager, a colleague or a trade union representative. You can also request a meeting with a volunteer Harassment Support Advisor who will listen to your case and advise of the different routes and additional support available.

We encourage everyone to report discrimination, harassment, and bullying via our online tool Report & Support. Report & Support provides a fair, unbiased, confidential process that treats people with respect, empowering people to be heard.

Resolving issues formally

You may need to explore the formal process if:

  • you are unable to find a resolution via the informal route;
  • the problem continues;
  • the matter is too serious to be dealt with by informal means.

If you need advice and support, in the first instance speak to your line manager, the Employee Relations team or People & OD Partner. Following this conversation, you may wish to refer your complaint formally. You can do this by completing a referral form. Each form is confidential and triaged by colleagues within People and Organisational Development.

Frequently asked questions

What will happen if I make a formal complaint?

Initially, the Employee Relations team will support you to resolve the matter informally. However in some cases, you may need to consider taking the matter forward formally. If you decide to take this route, you will need to put details about the unwanted behaviour you are experiencing in writing. Your complaint will then be considered by a member of the Employee Relations team.

You may be asked to attend a meeting with the investigating manager to gather more information. You can bring someone with you to the meeting.

Who will investigate my complaint?

Formal investigations will be conducted by an independent and impartial member of staff, not previously involved. 

Will I need to continue working with the member of staff in question?

As assessment will be made prior to the start of the investigation whether involved staff should continue to work together. The conclusion of the investigation of your complaint should result in any unacceptable behaviour being stopped, and the most appropriate way to reach this position shall be considered on a case-by-case basis.