Bullying and harassment policy templateReading time 3 minutes (inc. support info). Reviewed 28/07/2023.
Our Bullying and Harassment Policy Template combats workplace mistreatment, fostering a safe and respectful environment for all employees.
What is a Bullying and harassment policy?
A bullying and harassment policy is a formal document that outlines an organisation's position on bullying and harassment in the workplace. The policy sets out the organisation's commitment to providing a safe and respectful workplace, and outlines the steps that will be taken to prevent and address incidents of bullying and harassment.
The policy typically defines what constitutes bullying and harassment, and provides examples of behaviours that are considered unacceptable, such as verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, or physical assault. The policy may also specify the consequences for employees who engage in such behaviour, which may include disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
In addition to outlining the organisation's expectations for employee behaviour, the policy may also specify the responsibilities of managers and supervisors in preventing and addressing incidents of bullying and harassment. This may include providing training and education on workplace behaviour, creating an open and supportive environment for reporting incidents, and taking prompt and appropriate action when incidents are reported.
Overall, a bullying and harassment policy is a key component of a comprehensive approach to promoting a safe and respectful workplace, and can help to foster a culture of respect and dignity for all employees.
What legal and best practice aspects should employers be aware of?
Equality Act 2010: Prohibits harassment, discrimination, and victimization based on protected characteristics such as age, race, gender, disability, religion, etc.
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974: Requires employers to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of their employees, including protecting them from bullying and harassment.
Protection from Harassment Act 1997: Provides legal protection against harassment and includes provisions for both civil and criminal proceedings.
Employment Rights Act 1996: Protects employees from unfair treatment, including constructive dismissal, resulting from bullying and harassment.
ACAS Code of Practice on Bullying and Harassment: Offers guidelines for employers on handling and preventing workplace bullying and harassment.
Data Protection Act 2018: Ensures that employee data related to bullying and harassment complaints is handled securely and confidentially.
Bullying and harassment Policy
[Company name] recognises that discrimination is not only unacceptable, it is also unlawful.
[Company name]'s aim is to ensure that no job applicant or employee is discriminated against, directly or indirectly, on any unlawful grounds.
By including this policy in the Employee Handbook, all employees are made aware that the Company will act in accordance with all statutory requirements and take into account any relevant codes of practice.
All job applicants will be considered solely on their ability to do the job. Interview questions will not be of a discriminatory nature.
All promotions will be made on merit in line with the principles of the policy.
Employees who have a disability will receive the necessary help, within reason, to enable them to carry out their normal duties effectively.
This policy will be assessed at regular intervals to ensure that equality of opportunity is afforded to all employees.
This policy applies to all workers of [company name].
[Company name] will not tolerate any form of harassment or bullying.
The purpose of this policy is to inform employees of the type of behaviour that is totally unacceptable and to explain what solutions there are to employees who may suffer harassment or bullying.
[Company name] intends to provide a neutral working environment in which no one feels threatened or intimidated.
Harassment is a discriminatory act and is also a criminal offence. It is very difficult to define as it can take many forms, but in the main it takes the form of unwanted behaviour by one employee towards another, for example:
- Patronising or belittling comments.
- Comments about appearance/body/clothes.
- Leering or staring at a person's body.
- Unwelcome sexual invitations or pressure.
- Promises or threats, concerning employment or conditions, in exchange for sexual favours.
- Displaying offensive or sexually explicit material.
- Touching, caressing, hugging or indecent assault.
Please remember the test is that the behaviour is UNWELCOME, UNINVITED AND UNRECIPROCATED.
Bullying is also difficult to define. Obvious examples are:
- Threats of or actual physical violence.
- Unpleasant or over repeated jokes about a person.
- Unfair or impractical work loading.
If you encounter a problem of this nature, it is vital that you make the person responsible aware that his/her remarks or conduct are offensive to you. This should be done in a simple, straightforward way.
It is recognised that complaints of harassment or bullying are often of a sensitive or worrying nature and that it may be difficult to speak directly to the other employee involved. If this is the case, you should put your request in writing and hand it to the harasser or bully.
When or if the informal approach fails or if you believe that the harassment or bullying is of a very serious nature you must bring the matter to the attention of a member of Management. If possible, you should keep notes of the harassment or bullying so that the formal complaint can be investigated, including the date, time and whereabouts of the act.
If you make a formal complaint it will be dealt with under the grievance procedure and all possible actions will be taken to separate you from the alleged harasser or bully.
If you bring a complaint of harassment or bullying, you will not be victimised for having brought the complaint. If, however after a full investigation, the Company has grounds to believe that the complaint was brought with malicious intent, you will be subject to disciplinary action under the Company's disciplinary procedure.
Issue date: [date]
Author: [name, job title]
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