Policy on Harassment
Policy on Harassment
It is the responsibility of the Board of Directors, Manager and all staff to ensure that the Policy on Harassment is strictly adhered to.
- Policy Statement
1.1 BCW Training Ltd is committed to creating a working and training environment which is free of harassment and which protects the dignity of female and male staff and Learners irrespective of their sexual orientation, racial or ethnic background, religion or disabled status. Harassment is offensive and prejudicial to a productive working and studying environment. It is indicative of a lack of respect for the person harassed, undermines his or her position and may have a negative impact upon health, job performance, course work, examination and sense of personal security.
1.2 BCW Training Ltd regards sexual, racial or personal harassment as most serious matters; observance of this policy is a condition of service for all members of staff and is required of Learners. Formal complaints will be investigated and thorough investigation will protect those who complain and those who are the subject of complaint. In cases where the complaint is substantiated, the individual responsible may be subject to action under the appropriate disciplinary procedure. At all times the principals of natural justice will apply. Natural justice entitles all parties to a fair hearing and guarantees that the judgements will be made by the Manager or Board of Directors of BCW Training Ltd.
1.3 BCW Training Ltd will take steps to ensure that those individuals with responsibility for dealing with matters raised under the provisions of this policy receive appropriate guidance and training as to the nature and potential consequence of sexual, racial and personal harassment.
- Definition of Personal Harassment
2.1 Personal harassment takes many forms. It is uninvited and unwanted actions that cause offence and /or embarrassment, fear, stress or tension. It can be an isolated act such as a comment or wilful gesture, or it can take the form of repeated behaviour against a person.
2.2 Outlined below are some examples of personal harassment. Some, if occurring only once, may cause only mild irritation but if repeated become harassing. Other examples are clearly harassment even if they occur only once. All of them are inappropriate if staff or Learners are to have equality of opportunity.
The defining features are that behaviour is offensive or intimidating to the recipient and would be regarded as harassment by any reasonable person.
(a) Sexual Harassment
For the purposes of BCW Training Ltd Policy, sexual harassment is defined as unwanted verbal or physical advances, sexually explicit statements which have the effect of creating an intimidating environment. Examples might be:
- Lewd comments about physical appearance
- Persistent verbal or physical advances of a sexual nature
- The transmission of offensive materials or statements via electronic means or through the post
- Offensive comments about personal characteristics or lifestyle
- Photographs or drawings which are sexually explicit in nature which may be deemed offensive
- Offensive graffiti
- Obscene language
- Unwanted physical contact
- Offensive jokes or pranks of a sexual nature
(b) Racial Harassment
Racial harassment, for the purpose of BCW Training Lts policy, is defined as conduct which is intended to cause, or has the effect of causing, physical or emotional harm or mental distress to a person for reasons of racial, ethnic or national origins or for reasons of colour. Examples might be:
- Insensitive jokes or pranks of a racial, ethnic or religious nature
- Racist graffiti
- Racially abusive language
- Offensive comments about physical racial characteristics or lifestyle
- Offensive comments about materials or statements via electronic means or through the post
- Attempts to promote or entrench racist attitudes through the recruitment of Learners or staff to overtly racist organisations and groups.
- Harassment of a person on the grounds of their association with a person(s) who belongs to a racial or minority ethnic group will also constitute racial harassment.
(c) Other Forms of Harassment
- Behaviour which makes direct or indirect reference to disability or impairment and this causes discomfort, patronises, insults or offends people with a physical, sensory or mental disability
- Treating someone adversely because they have or it is suspected/believed that they have HIV/AIDS
- Repeated gibes in reference to personal traits or appearances, invasion of privacy, or practical jokes causing physical or psychological distress
- Persistent pressure to become involved in anti-social or unlawful behaviour
- Repeated statements to an individual or third parties which demean his/her professional status and performance
- Where an alleged case of harassment appears to constitute a criminal act, the aggrieved individual will be advised to contact, with BCW Training Ltd’s support, the appropriate agency, e.g. Police, Rape Crisis, etc.
3.1 Victimisation is when the person who has made the complaint of harassment is treated less favourably than would otherwise be the case.
BCW Training Ltd will not tolerate any incidents of victimisation arising from either:
(i) making an allegation of personal harassment; or
(ii) having been accused of harassment
Such victimisation will be dealt with as a disciplinary issue. Individuals who bekieve themselves to be victimised should bring their concern to the attention of the Manager or Board of Directors.
4 Malicious or Vexatious Complaints
Any complainant found to be making malicious or vexatious complaints may be subject to disciplinary action.
- Criminal Offences
Where an alleged case of harassment appears to constitute a criminal act, the aggrieved individual will be advised to report the matter to the police.
- Procedure for Dealing with Harassment
6.1 Anyone experiencing harassment should not wait until things become intolerable. Sometimes the person may not realise that his/her behaviour is unwanted or unacceptable and in such cases the misunderstandings can be resolved quickly.
6.2 It is helpful to make a note of the time, place and nature of any specific incidents and attempts to discuss them. This will provide useful information in following these procedures.
6.3 As a general principle, confidentiality will be preserved and no action will normally be taken without the consent of the complainant.
6.4 If possible, the individual experiencing harassment should state clearly to the person concerned that his/her behaviour is unacceptable and should cease. In some circumstances the individual might prefer to write a letter to the person concerned, which should be dated and signed, and a copy kept.
6.5 If the individual does not feel able to talk or write to the person concerned or if the harassment does not stop, he or she should raise the matter with someone in an official position who could help resolve the matter informally. Learners would normally contact a member of staff such as their Personal Tutor, Programme Co-ordinator etc.
6.7. Where it has not proved possible to resolve the matter through informal means, or where the aggrieved individual feels that the harassment is so serious that immediate action is necessary, the case should be referred, following the steps in BCW Training Ltd’s Grievance Procedure. If at this stage it is determined that no further action will be taken, the complainant will be notified as soon as possible and reasons for the decision will normally be given in general terms, In all other cases the following steps will be taken.
6.8 The Manager/Board of Directors will conduct an investigation into the case as soon as possible and will normally complete the investigation within one month of the initial meeting with the complainant. The Manager/Board of Directors will inform the person against whom the complaint is made of the nature of the complaint and that the matter is being investigated formally. The person will be required to attend for interview with the Manager/Board of Directors and a fellow member of staff at which he/she may be accompanied by a Learners’ Union representative, a member of staff or a fellow Learner of his/her own choice.
6.9 If the Manager/Board of Directors determines that no further action should be taken, both parties will be informed of the decision in writing within three working days of the decision having been made.
6.10 If the case is not judged serious enough by the Manager/Board of Directors to initiate disciplinary action is necessary, the provisions of |BCW Training Ltd’s Disciplinary Procedure will apply.
6.11 If the Manager/Board of Directors upholds the complaint and determines that disciplinary Procedure will apply.
6.12 If the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation, he/she has the right of appeal to the Manager/Board of Directors. A written appeal must be received within seven days of notification of the Manager/Board of Directors decision. They will then determine the matter having reviewed all the documents relating to the complaint.
7.1 Confidentiality of any statements taken during these procedures will be used only for the purposes of the investigation and for any disciplinary action that might follow. However, if legal proceedings ensue, BCW training Ltd may be obliged to disclose such statements at that stage.
SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN/VULNERABLE ADULTS POLICY STATEMENT
BCW Training Ltd believes that it is always unacceptable for a child, young person or vulnerable adult to experience abuse of any kind and recognises its responsibility to safeguard
their welfare, by a commitment to practice which protects them.
We recognise that:
- the welfare of the child/young person/vulnerable adult is paramount
- all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
- working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and their agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
The purpose of the policy:
- To provide protection for the children, young people and vulnerable adults who receive BCW Training’s services
- To provide staff with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or young person may be experiencing, or be at risk of harm.
This policy applies to all staff, including senior managers and the Board of Directors
paid staff, or anyone working on behalf of BCW Training Ltd.
We will seek to safeguard children and young people by:
- valuing them, listening to and respecting them
- adopting child protection guidelines through procedures and a code of conduct
for staff and volunteers
- recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
- sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers
- sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately
- providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision,
support and training.
We are also committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.