Human Resources Dept
Currently under review (2018)
As an employer, the University of Derby has a moral and legal responsibility to
ensure that any form of harassment is prevented and, if this is not possible, to
respond effectively and promptly when a complaint of harassment is raised. The
University of Derby expects that all staff wil themselves observe acceptable
standards of behaviour and wil encounter very few problems of harassment
within their working environment.
Employers who permit any acts of sexual, sexual orientation, religious, racial,
disability or age based harassment may find themselves liable under the
Equality Act 2010.
Harassment is a great source of stress to an individual, which can seriously
harm working and social conditions of staff and students. Any difficulty in
defining what constitutes harassment should not deter staff from seeking advice
or complaining of behaviour which causes them distress. Anyone who feels they
are witnessing or experiencing an incident of harassment should talk to
someone - either a friend, a Human Resource Advisor, or a Manager.
For the purposes of this policy, one week is deemed to be seven
days, inclusive of weekends, but exclusive of statutory holidays and
Parties to a harassment grievance may be accompanied at
any time through the process by an acknowledged staff representative, this
could include a member of a professional association, a trade union official, or a
work colleague of his/her choice. Due to the sensitivity of some cases involving
harassment, an employee may be represented by a personal friend not acting in
a professional capacity.
The Human Resources Department (HRD):
Human Resources Department
may act in an advisory capacity to any party and/or as an independent
facilitator. In these circumstances Human Resources Department wil discuss
the issue(s) of concern. Given their independent role, Human Resources
Department are not in a position to make decisions, but may offer
recommendations for resolution.
For the purposes of this policy, “Director” means a member of the
The University of Derby is commit ed to providing an environment that is free of
harassment. No member of staff should have to worry about coming to work
because of the fear of harassment, bullying or abuse. The University recognises
that all forms of harassment are unacceptable and wil respect the particular
sensitivity of sexual, religious and racial harassment, bullying, age or any other
form of complaints and their consequences. Any incidents of harassment wil be
regarded extremely seriously and may be grounds for disciplinary action, which
may include dismissal.
This policy aims to maintain an environment in which harassment is known to be
unacceptable and informs individual employees how a grievance about
harassment can be raised. It also identifies at what level such grievances are
heard, aiming to ensure that any such grievances are dealt with fairly and
consistently. The policy wil apply to all members of staff, irrespective of length
of service or numbers of hours worked, and aims to be non-discriminatory,
being applied irrespective of sex, marital status, sexual orientation, culture,
religion, nationality, age, ethnic and national origins, or disability.
It is the perceptions of those who experience harassment rather than the
intentions of those accused of harassing which determines what
There is not a single definition of harassment, but it can include behaviour which
unwanted/offensive to the recipient
intimidating or threatening to the recipient
likely to give rise to a hostile and restrictive environment
Harassment can take the form of obvious racial or sexual harassment, but
can also include
other forms, such as insults or bullying, unfounded criticism on performance
of work tasks, hostility based on age, disability etc.
The University of Derby is responsible for ensuring that the Harassment Policy
and related procedures are applied fairly, consistently and promptly.
Both management and members of staff themselves may be hesitant to address
the issues of harassment given the sensitivity of the subject, or a mistaken belief
that no problem exists. Human Resources Department are available to provide
advice and support to any manager or member of staff with regard to
harassment. Trade Union officials are available to provide advice and support to
When a complaint has been made it wil be investigated thoroughly and as
quickly as possible, ensuring that the rights of the alleged harasser are
protected as well as those of the complainant.
If a member of staff feels unable to tackle the person concerned, this does not
constitute consent to the harassment nor wil it prejudice any complaint s(he)
The general principle should be that the decision to progress a complaint rests
with the individual. However, there may be exceptional situations in which that
principle has to be balanced against the employer’s statutory legal obligations to
ensure the general welfare of all employees.
Wherever possible, complaints of harassment should be dealt with informally.
This is likely to produce solutions which are effective, speedy and with the
minimum of embarrassment. Although the University wishes to encourage staff
to exhaust all possible informal channels for the reasons stated above, it is not
the intention to discourage members of staff from recourse to formal
When a member of staff wishes to raise a harassment grievance, the procedure
outlined in the Grievance Policy should be followed. This policy provides a
procedural framework for raising problems informally and formally. It is divided
into three main stages: informal, formal and appeal. It is not anticipated that all
harassment grievances wil go through all procedural stages.
Whenever possible an informal solution should be sought, but there may be
some instances where it is appropriate to take formal action immediately. One of
the main aims of this policy is to make it possible for a member of staff who
finds it difficult or embarrassing to raise the problem directly with the person
creating the problem to seek support and/or advice from a third party within the
University (e.g. a Human Resource Advisor or a Trade Union Representative).
It is advisable that the complainant should keep a note of the alleged
harassment and details of the steps s(he) had taken to try to stop the alleged
Any third party involved in a grievance is at liberty to make notes for future
reference. Where Human Resources Department is involved, unless expressly
requested to the contrary, they wil make brief summary notes and place these
on the complainant’s personal file held within Human Resources Department in
case they are required in the future.
An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which includes a counselling service is
available to all members of staff, which provides the opportunity for individuals to
discuss their concerns on a confidential and independent basis with a professional
counsellor. Further information about this service can be obtained from Human
Resources Department. Any member of staff can take up this option at their
discretion without prejudicing any harassment complaint.