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6.  Code of Behaviour

6.1.    In an environment that encourages and celebrates freedom of thought and expression, it is vital that our behaviour towards one another remains courteous and professional. The following Code, developed in conjunction with the Trade Unions and representatives across the University, sets out the University’s expectations around how we should and should not behave towards other members of our community. This Code is not exhaustive but models both the positive behaviour expected of us in our interactions with one another and the negative behaviours that may lead to informal or formal action being taken.
The negative actions listed in the Code below show how the inappropriate behaviours defined in section 5 may be demonstrated within our community. Understanding this can help each of us appreciate the impact of the way we behave.


The Code of Behaviour

We are each individually responsible for our own actions and for recognising the impact of our behaviour on others. Acknowledging the University’s core values of freedom of thought and expression and freedom from discrimination, we should always strive to:

  • Foster a trusting environment that enables honest and supportive working and studying conditions
  • Recognise that our actions can impact others and show courtesy and consideration in our interactions with others, even if we disagree with their views
  • Discuss views that others may find disagreeable or distasteful in a constructive and lawful way, in line with the University Statement on Freedom of Speech
  • Treat each other fairly and without bias
  • Recognise and acknowledge the contribution of others to our work
  • Honour the need for confidentiality when the nature of our work requires it
  • Maintain appropriate and professional relationships with all members of the University, in particular students and those in subordinate positions to us
  • Promote a culture where colleagues can speak out about inappropriate behaviour
  • Support our colleagues experiencing inappropriate behaviour by intervening, speaking out and helping where we feel able.

In order to maintain a culture of courtesy and professionalism, we must never bully, harass, discriminate, victimise or commit sexual misconduct, by avoiding such behaviour as:

  • Talking down to, belittling, gratuitously interrupting or preventing others from speaking
  • Directing inappropriate language, such as swearing, towards others or making degrading comments about individuals or groups of individuals
  • Making inappropriate derogatory remarks about a colleague’s performance in public, whether directly (such as in a meeting) or indirectly (for example, by needlessly copying people into an email)
  • Humiliating others by shouting at them, either publicly or privately
  • Maliciously ignoring individuals or groups of individuals, or inhibiting the ability of others to perform their roles by withholding information or excluding them from necessary meetings and discussion 
  • Imposing overbearing and intimidating levels of supervision or management
  • Undermining the reputation of others through malicious rumours or false allegations or by breaching confidential conversations
  • Making racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, disablist or ageist jokes, remarks or gestures, which may demean or discriminate independently of our intentions
  • Mocking, mimicking or belittling a colleague, student or visitor because we perceive them as different to us, or using this difference as a reason to treat them unfairly
  • Behaving in a controlling or coercive way, such as placing excessive pressure on others to subscribe to a particular political or religious belief
  • Circulating or displaying any type of communication on any form of media that would otherwise constitute a form of inappropriate behaviour contrary to this Policy
  • Making unwelcome and unpermitted sexual advances, suggestive behaviour or touching someone against their will or without their consent, even if it is perceived as harmless by the individual behaving this way
  • Retaliating to allegations of inappropriate behaviour, including threatening those who have made the allegations, providing unfair or misleading references, or blocking access to career development opportunities.