ANTI-HARASSMENT AND BULLYING


INTRODUCTION

RAISE GAMBIA is committed to having a working environment  which is free from harassment and bullying and to ensure that all employee or contractors and, others who

 come into contact with us in the course of our work, are treated with dignity and respect regardless of gender, sexual orientation, transgender status, marital or family status, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origins, creed, culture, religion or belief, age, or disability. Striving to ensure that the work environment is free of harassment and bullying and that everyone is treated with dignity and respect is central to ensuring equal opportunities in employment.

This policy and procedure is intended to support this commitment in practice and to provide guidance to staff on how to deal with concerns of bullying or harassment.


POLICY

We will not tolerate bullying or harassment in our working environment or at work-related events outside of the working environment, whether the conduct is a one-off act or repeated course of conduct, and whether done purposefully or not. Neither will we tolerate retaliation against, or victimisation of, any person involved in bringing a complaint of harassment or bullying. Retaliation or victimisation will also constitute a disciplinary offence, which may in appropriate circumstances lead to dismissal.  You should also be aware that if a UK court or tribunal finds that you have bullied or harassed someone, in some circumstances the treatment may amount to a crime punishable by a fine or imprisonment.

We will take appropriate action if any of our employee or contractor or contractors are bullied or harassed by our stakeholders or suppliers.

Allegations of bullying and harassment will be treated seriously. Investigations will be carried out promptly, sensitively and, as far as possible, confidentially.  If, after an investigation, we decide that an employee or contractor  has harassed or bullied another employee or contractor, then the employee or contractor may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

Employee or contractors and others who make allegations of bullying or harassment in good faith will not be treated less favourably as a result.  False accusations of harassment or bullying can have a serious effect on innocent individuals. Staff and others have a responsibility not to make false allegations. False allegations made in bad faith will be dealt with under our disciplinary procedure.


What type of treatment amounts to bullying or harassment?

Bullying or harassment is something that has happened that is unwelcome, unwarranted and causes a detrimental effect. If employee or contractor complains they are being bullied or harassed, then they have a grievance which must be dealt with regardless of whether or not their complaint accords with a standard definition. For further information, please refer to ACAS guidance.

It is important to recognise that conduct which one person may find acceptable, another may find totally unacceptable.  All employees or contractor musts, therefore, treat their colleagues with respect and appropriate sensitivity.

Bullying does not include appropriate criticism of an employee or contractor’s behaviour or proper performance management.  


REPORTING CONCERNS

What you should do if you witness an incident you believe to harassment or bullying:  If you witness such behaviour, you should report the incident in confidence to a trustee.  Such reports will be taken seriously and will be treated in strict confidence as far as it is possible to do so.

What you should do if you feel you are being bullied or harassed by a stakeholder or supplier (as opposed to a colleague): If you are being bullied or harassed by someone with whom you come into contact at work, please raise this with a trustee. The trustees will then decide how best to deal with the situation, in consultation with you.


What you should do if you are being bullied or harassed by a colleague: If you are being bullied or harassed by another employee or contractor, there are two possible avenues for you, informal or formal.


Informal Resolution

If you are being bullied or harassed by another employee or contractor, you may be able to resolve the situation yourself by explaining clearly to the perpetrator(s) that their behaviour is unacceptable, contrary to our policy and must stop.  Alternatively, you may wish to ask a colleague to put this on your behalf or to be with you when confronting the perpetrator(s).

If the above approach does not work or if you do not want to try to resolve the situation in this way, you should raise the issue with a trustee.  The trustee will discuss with you the option of trying to resolve the situation informally by:

Telling the alleged perpetrator(s), without prejudging the matter, that there has been a complaint that their behaviour is having an adverse effect on a fellow employee or contractor ;

That such behaviour is contrary to our policy;

It may be possible for the trustee to have this conversation with the alleged perpetrator without revealing your name, if this is what you want.  They will also stress that the conversation is confidential.

In certain circumstances we may be able to involve a neutral third party (a mediator) to facilitate a resolution of the problem. The trustee will discuss this with you if it is appropriate.

If your complaint is resolved informally, the alleged perpetrator(s) will not usually be subject to disciplinary sanctions. However, in exceptional circumstances (such as a serious allegation of sexual or racial harassment or in cases where a problem has happened before) we may decide to investigate further and take more formal action notwithstanding that you raised the matter informally.  We will consult with you before taking this step.

RAISING A FORMAL COMPLAINT

If informal resolution is unsuccessful or inappropriate, you can make a formal complaint about the harassment or bullying to non-officer holding Trustees.  A formal complaint may ultimately lead to disciplinary action against the perpetrator(s).

They will first investigate the complaint.  You will need to co-operate with the investigation and provide the following details (if not already provided):

The name of the alleged perpetrator(s),

The nature of the harassment or bullying,

The dates and times the harassment or bullying occurred,

The names of any witnesses and

Any action taken by you to resolve the matter informally.

The alleged perpetrator(s) would need to be told your name and the details of your complaint in order for the issue to be investigated properly.  They will carry out the investigation as confidentially and sensitively as possible.  Where you and the alleged perpetrator(s) work in proximity to each other, they will consider whether it is appropriate to separate you whilst the matter is being investigated.

After the investigation, they will consider the complaint and the findings.  They will inform you of their decision and notify you of your right to appeal to the chair of trustees if you are dissatisfied with the outcome.

You should put your appeal in writing explaining the reasons why you are dissatisfied with the decision. You should submit your appeal within eight working days of receiving written confirmation of the decision.  The chair of trustees will consider your appeal and write to you afterwards to confirm the Board of Trustees’ final decision.


DISCLOSURE AND CONFIDENTIALITY

We will treat personal data collected during this process in accordance with the data protection policy.


USE OF THE DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE

Harassment and bullying constitute serious misconduct.  Any employee or contractor found to have harassed or bullied a colleague will be liable to disciplinary action up to and including summary termination of contract.  




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