FAQ: Informal procedure

FAQ: Informal procedure

FAQ: Informal Procedure for dealing with Harassment and Bullying for Staff

Contact Officer: Director of Personnel

Purpose
This series of questions and answers provides a brief overview of the informal procedure for dealing with cases of harassment or bullying:

All about the informal procedure:
What’s the informal procedure in terms of dealing with harassment and bullying?
What is meant by a direct informal approach?
What is meant by an indirect formal approach?
Is mediation part of the informal procedure?
Should I contact an Initial/Harassment Advisor?

Guidelines/ Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the informal procedure in terms of dealing with harassment and bullying?
Many complaints can be resolved informally, and this approach is encouraged where you, the complainant, feel that this could achieve the resolution/outcome you’re looking for. For example, if a work colleague kept referring to your age, and this made you feel uncomfortable, but that you felt wasn’t done maliciously, a quiet direct or indirect word with them, so they were aware of how you felt and how this could be perceived as bullying, would hopefully resolve the situation. Back to top.

What is meant by a direct informal approach?
You may feel able to tell the person who is harassing you to stop, either by talking or writing to them. Sometimes it is enough just to explain to the person who is harassing you what is unwanted about their behaviour and why it is unacceptable. This may be difficult for you to do, and you may prefer to be accompanied by a colleague, trade union representative, manager or Initial/Harassment Advisor. Back to top.

What is meant by an indirect informal approach?
If it is too difficult or too embarrassing to tell the person who is harassing you to stop directly yourself, then you may request your manager to approach the alleged harasser/bully on your behalf. If your manager is the alleged harasser/bully, you may request a colleague, trade union representative, Initial/Harassment Advisor or your manager’s manager to approach the alleged bully on your behalf. Back to top.

Is mediation part of the informal procedure?
Yes, mediation is also available as an alternative to the formal stages of the procedure, or as the next step after informal procedures. If complainants do not feel able to follow either this course or mediation, or if the incident is too serious for such approaches, they should proceed straight to the formal stage. There is no obligation to attempt to resolve the matter informally or to use mediation. For more information on the mediation process please go to the FAQ section on mediationBack to top.

Should I contact an Initial/Harassment Advisor?
Yes absolutely, Initial/Harassment Advisors have been trained to provide initial advice and support in the form of what options are available to you. Information on Initial/Harassment Advisors is available on the Personnel Web pages, or the Student SOLE pages, or go to the FAQ section on Initial/Harassment AdvisorsBack to top.

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Associated Documents
Staff Grievance [Word] and Disciplinary Policy and Procedure [Word] 
Whistle blowing Policy and Procedure [Word]

Date Approved 12.01.12
Approval Authority Director of Personnel

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