Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy

1. Introduction

As part of our ongoing commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, we are committed to fostering an inclusive culture which promotes equality, values diversity and maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of everybody who is associated with EM Normandy UK Limited are respected. Any allegation of harassment, bullying or victimisation will be treated seriously in line with the relevant legislation including, but not limited to, The Equality Act 2010.

2. Principles

It is the responsibility of every member of the EM Normandie UK Limited community to ensure we have an inclusive and supportive work and study environment, promoting tolerance and respect towards Equality Diversity and Inclusion. It is important that students and staff are able to express their views and opinions in a way that also acknowledges the views and opinions held by others, that may not always coincide with their own.

We take such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured for students, members of staff, self-employed contractors, external speakers and visitors, even if such speech is controversial, contentious or provocative.

This principle extends to conduct online, including social media. If safe to do so, students and members of staff should discourage bullying, harassment and victimisation by making it clear that they find such behaviour unacceptable.
All allegations of bullying, harassment or victimisation will be regarded as a serious matter and will be dealt with in a sensitive, objective manner, respecting the rights of all parties involved. Whilst every effort will be made to achieve an informal resolution, if an informal resolution does not resolve the situation, it may be necessary for the issue to be passed to the Board of Directors who will appoint a panel for an investigation. This may result in formal disciplinary action being taken.

Any information received will be handled with an appropriate level of confidentiality. EM Normandie UK Limited adheres to the principles relating to Processing of Personal Data set out in the The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). Where personal information is shared or released, it will only be done for the purposes of ensuring compliance with the company’s policy.

Any allegations of criminal acts – such as physical assault, rape or sexual assault – should be reported to the police immediately. EM Normandie UK Limited may report allegations of criminal activity to the police. In rare cases, disciplinary action may be instigated against the complainant if there is evidence that the allegation is unfounded and not made in good faith.

3. What is Harassment, Bullying and Victimisation

Below is a list of examples of behaviour that may constitute bullying, harassment, discrimination and victimisation. The list items is not exhaustive; however, they are indicative of behaviour that would be considered unacceptable conduct by EM Normandie UK Limited.

This policy would still apply where the allegations are of behaviours that may attract criminal sanctions. This would include, but would not be limited to, cases of serious assault or threat of serious assault. Any discipline sanctions against student, members of staff, self-employed contractors, external speakers and visitors resulting from the incident(s) would be pending until the Police investigation is complete.

Harassment encompasses many different types of physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct. It can occur as an isolated incident, many sporadic incidents, or as on-going behaviour. It can happen on its own or alongside forms of discrimination. The defining features of conduct which may be considered as harassment are:

  • unwanted and unwelcome behaviour;
  • behaviour that subjects a person or group of people to intimidation, humiliation, ridicule, offence, loss of privacy or dignity, or creates an environment which is hostile, intimidating or offensive to a person or group;

Harassment can also include repeated contact with a person that may cause distress, fear or intimidation (see Protection from Harassment Act 1997 ).

Bullying is classed as offensive, intimidating or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.

It can also be an abuse of personal or collective power or a position of authority, in an aggressive or subtle way, which makes the recipient feel upset, threatened, intimidated, humiliated or vulnerable and undermines their self-confidence. An allegation in relation to alleged bullying is described as, repeated, unwelcomed, unwarranted behaviour which causes a detrimental effect on a person’s wellbeing. The behaviour may involve repeated forms of unwanted and unwarranted conduct, but a one-off incident can also amount to bullying and harassment.

Victimisation occurs when a person treats another person badly or subjects them to a detriment because they have made, or intend to make, a complaint of discrimination (including harassment and/or bullying) or have helped another person to make a complaint. Victimisation can constitute unlawful discrimination.

Examples of bullying, harassment and victimisation are, amongst others

  • spoken or written words or abuse including threats, derogatory name calling, insults, ridicule or belittling, maliciously spreading rumours or lies
  • offensive emails, tweets or comments on social networking sites such as intimidating or aggressive behaviour, images and graffiti
  • physical contact or gestures, offensive or threatening comments or content posting comments/photos etc
  • facial expressions, jokes or deliberately mocking an individual with the intent to harass or humiliate
  • intrusion by pestering, spying or stalking;
  • sexual or physical abuse or assault, sexual advances or innuendo (see Sexual Violence Policy Statement)
  • coercion, such as pressure to subscribe to a particular political or religious belief or requiring a person to perform a humiliating or dangerous ‘initiation ceremony’ to join a social group
Examples of bullying
  • psychological intimidation, humiliation, excessive and/or unreasonable criticism or fault-finding of any colleague, member of staff or peer
  • preventing an individual or intentionally blocking information to unjustifiably restrict an individual’s opportunities
  • asserting a position of superiority in an aggressive, abusive or offensive manner whether orally or in writing, publicly or in private

Examples of victimisation

  • an action of singling an individual who has complained about a discriminatory act
  • preventing and/or intentionally preventing an individual from accessing opportunities or resources
  • treating an individual less favourably as a result of their actions

4. Roles and responsabilities

EM Normandie UK Limited has a duty of care to all members of its community in order to ensure the health, safety and well-being of its students, members of staff, self-employed contractors, external speakers and visitors. Where it is believed this policy has been breached, consideration of the law, internal regulations and the context of the issue will be taken into account. All students, members of staff, self-employed contractors, external speakers and visitors of EM Normandie UK Limited are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which demonstrates respect for others.

5. Support available

Anyone affected by the behaviour of others is advised to contact their Head of Programme, the Principal or the Link Officer, HR, or their line manager, who can offer support and advice. In addition, Thames Valley Police can also be contacted in cases of emergency or for criminal matters. Any hate crime will be treated as a form of Harassment under this Policy and EM Normandie UK Limited reserves the right to report any incident to the Police where they believe it may constitute a criminal offence.

6. Raising an allegation of bullying, harassment or victimisation

 

6. 1 Procedure

This procedure is designed to deal with an allegation of bullying, harassment or victimisation made against a student, members of staff, self-employed contractors, external speakers and visitors.
It applies to behaviour wherever and whenever it may have taken place when it is reasonably considered by EM Normandie UK Limited to be detrimental to a member of our community. It includes, but is not limited to, behaviour which arises at any time when the person may be regarded as representing EM Normandie UK Limited as an individual or as part of a team or group. It also applies when a student or member of staff is living or studying on campus or at a location away from the University either as part of their studies or following an arrangement made through EM Normandie UK Limited.

6.2 Initial Concerns and Support

6.2.1 Any student, member of staff, self-employed contractor, external speaker and visitor who feels they have been subject to bullying, harassment or victimisation by another student, member of staff, self-employed contractor, external speaker and visitor should contact their Head of Programme, the Principal or the Link Officer, HR or their line manager for advice and support.

6.2.2 Head of Programme, the Principal, the Link Officer or HR and/or the Principal will discuss the incident(s) with the person and suggest any potential self-help remedies to resolve the situation informally and in an attempt to prevent any repeat of the unacceptable behaviour.

6.2.3 In some cases a person may not have been aware that their actions have been perceived as harassment or bullying. In these cases, the behaviour may cease if the individual is able to recognise the impact of their behaviour. Where the behaviour continues, or if the behaviour is of a more serious nature, a student, member of staff, self-employed contractor, external speaker and visitor can discuss any formal approaches which could be taken.

6.2.4 In some cases disciplinary action may be instigated against the complainant if there is evidence that the allegation of bullying/harassment is unfounded and not made in good faith.

6.2.5 Following completion of any enquiries in relation to the issue, both parties will be informed of the outcome.

6.3 Process of enquiry and investigation

Below are two different routes available to support a student, member of staff, self-employed contractor, external speaker and visitor making an allegation of bullying, harassment or victimisation against another person during their involvement with Normandie UK Limited.

6.3.1 Student allegation towards another student

If a student wishes to make an allegation of bullying, harassment or victimisation against a student they should contact their Head of Programme, the Principal or the Link Officer for advice.

(a) Informal route: The Head of Programme, the Principal or the Link Officer will advise the student to resolve the issue informally. In these circumstances, and if appropriate, it may be necessary for person accused of bullying, harassment or victimisation to be approached to attempt to resolve the issue. Whilst every effort will be made to achieve a prompt outcome through this informal route, both parties will be expected to co-operate with EM Normandie UK Limited to achieve a satisfactory resolution.

If it is not possible to resolve the issue promptly, it may be necessary for the issue to be passed to the Board of Directors.

(b) Formal route: If the informal approach does not resolve the issue, the matter will be passed to the Board of Directors who will appoint a panel to undertake an investigation. Any action taken will normally be taken with the student’s consent. Any action may commence with a risk assessment to consider any potential risks to the individual, their peers and the organisation, and decide if any precautionary restrictions/exclusions are put in place whilst the allegation is being investigated.

EM Normandie recognises that it may be necessary to share the outcome of a Risk Assessment panel and/or discipline investigation to fully resolve the issue. The wellbeing of both parties will be taken into consideration during this process. EM Normandie UK Limited will only share this information on a need-to-know basis. Throughout all proceedings, EM Normandie UK Limited will act in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.

6.3.2 Student allegation towards a member of staff, self-employed contractor, external speaker and visitor

If a student wishes to make an allegation of bullying, harassment or victimisation against a member of staff, self-employed contractor, external speaker and visitor the student should contact their Head of Programme, the Principal or the Link Officer for advice and support.
Procedures will in principle follow those outlined above but may vary to accommodate relevant legal or other regulatory requirements and may involve, in line with these, other relevant agencies.

6.3.3 Staff members’, self-employed contractors’, external speakers’ and visitors’ allegations against a student or other member of staff, self-employed contractor, external speaker or visitor

If a person wishes to make an allegation of bullying, harassment or victimisation against a student, another member of staff, self-employed contractor, external speaker and visitor the person should contact their line manager, HR or the Principal in the first instance.

Procedures will in principle follow those outlined above but may vary to accommodate relevant legal or other regulatory requirements and may involve, in line with these, other relevant agencies.

November 2020

Up-dated November 2021