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Bullying and Harassment (Rules K1–K2)

A separate procedure exists for dealing with complaints of bullying or harassment because of the special sensitivity of the problem. Full details of this procedure are given in the yellow booklet ‘Dealing with bullying and harassment: advice and instructions for staff’. The following is a summary of the procedure:

The University is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination and affirms the right of all members and staff of the University to be treated with dignity. Racial and sexual harassment, harassment on the grounds of disability, and bullying of one member of the University by another, is wholly unacceptable behaviour. The University will take any incidents seriously and will act appropriately. Harassment and bullying can occur even if the offence is unintended. Full definitions of harassment and bullying are provided in the code of advice.

Complaints will be dealt with confidentially, and normally confidentiality will only be extended after consultation with the complainant and information about a complainant will not be released without the complainant's consent. However if a formal complaint is made it will be necessary for information to be given to the alleged perpetrator, the Head of the Institution as investigator, and to certain other persons involved in the investigation and in any appeals.

If you consider that you have been bullied or harassed, you may use the following procedures:

  1. You may seek informal advice from any of the persons listed in the Code of Advice, including the Director of Human Resources, the Welfare Adviser, your trades union, the Occupational Health Nurse, or an adviser within your institution. You may also raise the matter with the Head of your Institution.
  2. Attempts will be made to resolve the situation informally within your institution.
  3. If an informal resolution is impossible, you may make a complaint in writing to the Head of your Institution. If you have a complaint against your Head of Institution you may take the complaint to a higher body (details are included in the Code of Advice).
  4. Your Head of Institution will conduct an independent investigation in order to decide whether the complaint is justified, and will do so wherever possible within five working days. The alleged perpetrator must be told, within this time limit, that the complaint has been made and must be made fully aware of its nature and content. If you make a complaint both you and the alleged perpetrator have the right to be accompanied at any meeting by an accredited trades union representative or another member of the Assistant Staff. The investigation will be concluded as soon as possible, and you and the alleged perpetrator will be notified of the outcome without delay.
  5. If any of the parties involved are not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation, an appeal to a higher body may be made in writing within five working days of the notification of the result of an investigation and will normally be considered within ten working days. Details are contained in the Code of Advice.
  6. If the complaint is upheld, the Head of the Institution will take appropriate action. If the offence is comparatively minor, the matter may be dealt with by internal sanctions, which wherever possible and appropriate will involve separating the perpetrator from the complainant. For a more serious offence, the disciplinary procedures for the relevant group of staff will be invoked.
  7. Some kinds of harassment are criminal offences. Any case of physical assault, including sexual assault, should be reported to the police.
  8. If following investigation a complaint is not upheld and is found to be malicious or vexatious, disciplinary action may be taken against the complainant.

Advice and support

If you have a complaint about harassment or bullying or if you are accused of harassment or bullying, you should check whether a harassment adviser has been appointed in your institution. You may also seek advice and help from the Head of your institution or your institution's administrator. Other people or agencies in the University who may be of assistance are:

Function Telephone number
Occupational Health Service 36594
Staff Counselling Service 32865