Harassment Procedure

PURPOSE

• This procedure has been designed to deal with complaints of harassment, which need to be handled sensitively, effectively and promptly.

SCOPE

• This procedure applies to all DETA employees and learners.

RESPONSIBILITIES

• The Directors have overall responsibility for this procedure, its implementation and updating.

• The Directors/Department Manager is responsible for ensuring that when a harassment issue is raised the procedure is adhered to.

• Each member of staff/learner is responsible for ensuring that when they raise a harassment issue the procedure is adhered to.

DEFINITIONS OF HARASSMENT

Harassment is a form of direct discrimination and as such is unlawful. Harassment can be non-verbal, verbal and physical and can be received from people you work with or people you meet within the workplace, i.e. customers. All cases of harassment should be reported to your manager and dealt with immediately.

Harassment is defined as unwanted and unwelcome behaviour, which causes discomfort or upset to an individual or has an adverse effect on working relationships. It creates an intimidating, hostile or humiliating working environment for the individual.

Harassment is not restricted to unwelcome physical contact. In fact, it is much more common for harassment to be comments, looks and innuendo of a personal or suggestive nature which is offensive to the person subjected to it. It also includes the display of any material, which is offensive to employees/learners.

Harassment is often, but not always, aimed at people in a minority, lacking in power or being vulnerable in some way.

The different types of harassment are:

• SEXUAL HARASSMENT.
• RACIAL HARASSMENT.
• HARASSMENT BASED ON AGE.
• HARASSMENT AGAINST PEOPLE BECAUSE OF THEIR DISABILITIES.
• HARASSMENT BASED ON RELIGION.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT CAN BE DEFINED AS:

Unwanted conduct of a sexual nature affecting the dignity of men and women at work. This can include unwelcome physical, verbal or non verbal conduct.

RACIAL HARASSMENT CAN BE DEFINED AS:

Derogatory remarks, racially explicit statements, graffiti, jokes or any action of a racist nature which is directed at an individual or group from a different ethnic background and which results in the individual feeling threatened.

DISABILITY HARASSMENT CAN BE DEFINED AS:

Comments on an individual’s appearance, derogatory remarks, name-calling, ridicule or joking about a person’s mannerisms.

EXAMPLES OF HARASSMENT

• Verbal abuse or taunting
• Racist/sexual jokes including practical jokes
• Leering or insulting gestures
• Unfair allocation of work duties
• Ignoring or freezing out of colleagues
• Embarrassing comments
• Intrusion or pestering, following, spying etc.,
• Graffiti
• Physical contact from touching and petting to assault
• Display or circulation of offensive materials/books etc.,
• Intrusive or persistent questioning about ethnic origin
• Irrelevant and unnecessary references to sex.

THIS LIST IS NOT EXHAUSTIVE

DEFINITION OF VICTIMISATION

Victimisation is where a person is treated less favourably than another, for example they have brought proceedings, given evidence or complained about the behaviour of someone who has been harassing or discriminating against them or others. Victimisation is unlawful under the Sex Discrimination Act and the Race Relations Act.

PROCEDURE

Deta 2000 Ltd has devised this harassment procedure to provide an official complaint route for staff and learners who feel they are being harassed.

STAGE 1

If an individual feels that they are being harassed they should keep notes of incidents, what happened, times and witnesses.

If they feel able the complainant who is being harassed should speak to the harasser and tell them that they do not like what they are doing and they would like it to stop.

If the complainant does not feel that they can speak to their harasser they should verbally raise their complaint to their immediate manager or a company director (if the harasser is their manager).

If the verbal complaint is not resolved within one week then the complainant should proceed to stage 2.

STAGE 2

If the complaint is not resolved verbally then the complainant must complete a harassment report form and return it to their immediate manager or a company director (if the harasser is their manager). The manager/director will respond to the complaint within 48 hours of receiving it.

STAGE 3

The manager or director will review the harassment report and arrange independent interviews with the harasser and the complainant which, will be held with either the immediate manager and a director.

The manager/director will then prepare a report of the findings and inform all parties of the action that will be taken and appropriate future behaviours.

If the harasser is found to be guilty it will be at this stage that the company disciplinary procedure is instigated.

STAGE 4

Should the harassment recur the complainant should immediately put their complaint in writing to the managing director.

MANAGERS/DIRECTOR WILL:

• Ensure minimal stress for the complainant.

• Ensure a degree of flexibility to individual circumstances.

• Maintain confidentiality.

• In cases of alleged assault or alleged behaviour that is considered to be a criminal offence DETA reserve the right to contact the local Police.

• In the above scenario the offender will be suspended on full pay pending investigation.

Name Position Date May 2007
Prepared by V. Ayris Operations Manager
Authorised by N. Parkin Director