As members of staff, we have a responsibility to consider the impact of our behaviour on other people, and not to cause unreasonable offence or distress. Anyone who feels offended or upset by another person’s behaviour (even if it was unintentional) has the right to ask for that behaviour to stop. Occasionally, the level of seriousness of behaviour or conduct may mean that the Police become involved.
Raising a concern about someone’s behaviour or conduct can be difficult and stressful for both parties involved – the person making the complaint and the person who the complaint is about.
Advice and support are available for everyone involved in such situations - whatever the circumstances, you are not on your own.
If you have been accused of something, no assumptions or decisions will be made until the issue has been investigated and both parties have had a fair opportunity to give their side of events. Occasionally, measures might need to be taken to limit interactions between individuals or the University based on assessed risks. This does not imply any guilt and is implemented to allow an investigation to take place. Where possible, concerns are dealt with informally in the first instance.
Whether you think you have acted appropriately or inappropriately, you may find the following useful to consider:
- Is your understanding of the University’s Dignity at Work and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies and principles up to date?
- Do you have a clear understanding of the types of behaviour which might be seen to constitute sexual harassment, bullying, hate crime etc?
- Are you familiar with the likely next steps in an investigation? See here for information about what happens after a report is made
- What support do you need?
Sources of Support for Staff
- Trade unions - If you are a member of either UNISON, Unite, UCU or GMB, you can contact your representative for advice and support
- Human Resources - Contact your HR Advisor or HR Manager
- Line manager - Depending on the circumstances, you may also feel able to contact your line manager
- Wellbeing - You can access information and support through our Wellbeing pages, including the Staff Helpline and Counselling Service 0800 028 1947
- In cases where there is, or might be Police involvement, you may wish to seek professional or legal advice
- ACAS - Provide information, advice and guidance on a range of issues including conflict at work, equality and discrimination
- Respect - Is a domestic abuse organisation developing safe, effective work with perpetrators, male victims and young people who use violence. They provide a confidential helpline, email and webchat service for domestic abuse perpetrators and those supporting them - call 0808 802 4040 or visit respectphoneline.org.uk. Men's Advice Line is a confidential helpline, email and webchat service for male victims of domestic abuse - Call 0808 8010327 or visit mensadviceline.org.uk
- Samaritans provide a non-judgemental listening based service that you can call free from any phone on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/