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Dignity @ Work Contacts provide confidential advice to those who feel that they are experiencing difficult working relationships, including bullying or harassment, have witnessed bullying or harassment or who have been accused of it.  They are a group of trained volunteers who may be employees in any staff group and in any institution.

They will be available if for any reason you feel unable to seek advice from within your own institution. The role of the volunteer Dignity @ Work Contact is to meet with individuals and provide appropriate support such as:

  • Listening effectively to their concerns and fully exploring the issues involved

  • Helping them to analyse the problem they face

  • Providing full, clear and accurate information on the University’s Dignity at Work Policy and Procedures and other University policies as appropriate

  • Helping them to understand the courses of action open to them and advising on the practicalities involved in progressing each course of action

  • Advising on appropriate sources of support – both internal and external to the University.

If the individual wishes to attempt an informal resolution, the Dignity @ Work Contact can:

  • Explain the informal procedures

  • Help them to think about how they might approach the other party and a form of words to address their concerns

If the individual wishes to make a formal complaint, the Dignity @ Work Contact can:

  • Explain the formal procedures

  • Advise the individual as to how to prepare a complaint and the process that will be followed.

The Dignity @ Work Contact cannot:

  • Decide or give a view about whether the behaviour constitutes harassment

  • Give legal advice

  • Offer ongoing emotional support

  • Except in exceptional cases, meet with you more than once

  • Act as a representative if you decide to take action

  • Attend meetings with you

  • Write letters on your behalf

If you would like to talk confidentially to a Dignity @ Work Contact, you should call (7)65031 which is a confidential voice-mail number and leave your name and contact details, or email dignitycontacts@admin.cam.ac.uk with your name and contact details. Your message will be picked up by a Dignity @ Work Co-ordinator who will put you in touch with a Contact, ensuring that there is no conflict of interest. The Contact will then call or email you to arrange an appointment.

If an individual suffers a physical or sexual assault, a contact will be able to offer initial advice and support, but the individual should read the section on Criminal offences in the Toolkit and follow the advice given there.

Contacts may well be able to provide all the support an individual needs, but they are not professional counsellors and if a party does need longer-term help, especially if a complaint cannot be resolved informally, assistance should be sought from one of the other sources of professional help listed in the Sources of Support section.