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Equality and Human Rights Commission

Equality and Human Rights Commission. Dignity at Work Policy – Key Themes. Key Themes. This policy extends to all Commission employees in their dealings with anyone with whom they have contact through their work for the Commission.

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Equality and Human Rights Commission

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  1. Equality and Human Rights Commission Dignity at Work Policy – Key Themes

  2. Key Themes • This policy extends to all Commission employees in their dealings with anyone with whom they have contact through their work for the Commission. • All employees are expected to play their part in ensuring the Commission’s policy is adhered to. • All those working at the Commission should ensure that they are familiar with this policy and avoid any behaviour that could leave them open to accusations of bullying or harassment.

  3. Key Themes • Staff who feel that they are being bullied or harassed are encouraged, where they feel able, to resolve the issue informally. • Where staff feel unable to do this or the matter is more serious then consideration should be given to using the Commission’s grievance procedure to raise a formal complaint.

  4. Key Themes • Action under the disciplinary procedure may be taken against anyone who is found to have harassed or bullied other staff. In serious cases summary dismissal for gross misconduct may result.

  5. Identifying Unacceptable Behaviour • There are many definitions of bullying and harassment. • If a complaint is raised the focus will be on whether or not something that was unwelcome, unwarranted and caused a detrimental effect has occurred rather than whether or not the complaint meets a specific definition

  6. Identifying Unacceptable Behaviour • It is also important to recognise that although an incident may appear trivial or behaviour seem acceptable to others, it could be distressing to the recipient – and it is the impact rather than the intention that matters. • Any conduct which results in the unfair treatment of individuals on grounds of race, gender, transgender status, sexual orientation, religion or belief, age or disability is unacceptable.

  7. Harassment • Unwanted behaviour which affects the dignity of employees within the workplace • Creates an intimidating, degrading, humiliating or hostile environment in the workplace. • It may be an isolated incident or it may be persistent. • Some forms of harassment are overt, however others are less clear and are more insidious. • In serious cases, harassment may also amount to a criminal offence.

  8. Bullying • Offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour involving the abuse or misuse of power, position or workplace relationships. • Extreme behaviour such as violence and intimidation • Less obvious actions, such as deliberately ignoring or excluding someone at work.

  9. Bullying and Harassment • Bullying or harassment on grounds of sex, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or disability is unlawful. Harassment on the grounds of age is also unlawful.

  10. Responsibilities The People Team • Responsible for ensuring that all employees have access to this policy and that appropriate training on bullying and harassment takes place to ensure that managers understand their own role and responsibilities.

  11. Responsibilities HR Business Partners • Responsible for ensuring action is taken to prevent and tackle all forms of harassment and bullying and for monitoring situations where complaints have been raised.

  12. Responsibilities Line Managers will : • Maintain a working environment that is free from harassment and bullying • Be alert to situations which could lead to a complaint being made. • Set an example with their own behaviour by ensuring their management style could not be seen as bullying, whatever the pressures to get the job done. • View all complaints seriously, deal with it sensitively and promptly and confidentiality must be maintained. • Refer all complaints to the Directorate HR Business Partner who will provide support and assistance. •  Take prompt corrective action if behaviour which may cause offence occurs, including action under the disciplinary procedure.

  13. Responsibilities Individuals : • Should respect the dignity of their colleagues and anyone else they come into contact with in the course of their employment, and to be aware of the impact of their behaviour on others. • Ensure that their behaviour does not cause offence or mislead others about their wishes or intention. • Should critically examine their own attitudes to people. • Are encouraged to raise issues with an appropriate person (e.g. your manager or Directorate HR Business Partner) • Expected to co-operate fully with any investigation or action resulting from an investigation into bullying and harassment.

  14. Employees should also be aware that the following behaviours do not amount to bullying and/or harassment: • Constructive feedback about job performance • Setting reasonable standards for performance and conduct. • Implementing the disciplinary or capability procedure where conduct or performance has not met the required standard • Carrying out a return to work meeting following absence

  15. ‘Building a society built on fairness and respect where people are confident in all aspects of their diversity.’

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