Bullying and harassment of employees, whether by colleagues or management, is a serious matter, and one that is not always easily recognised. The sample policy detailed below has been designed to assist in both the identification of incidents of bullying and harassment and in dealing with such incidents once a complaint has been received.
SAMPLE BULLYING & HARASSMENT POLICY
The Hotel management will make every effort to ensure that its work environment gives all staff the freedom to do their work without having to suffer harassment or bullying from any source. All employees should be aware that harassment or bullying is unacceptable behaviour and is in breach of Hotels or the management policy.
Present-day changes of attitude mean that behaviour once tolerated by colleagues is no longer acceptable. Behaviour that is acceptable to one person may not be acceptable to another. If the behaviour is unwelcome and unacceptable, then it is a problem. Whether the harasser intended it to be offensive is not the point. If the behaviour is unwelcome it is harassment. The Hotel management will not tolerate harassment of employees from employees, nor at any level in the organisation or third parties.
Under this policy harassment includes:
- Harassment on grounds of Gender
- Harassment on grounds of Sexual orientation
- Harassment on grounds of Disability
- Harassment on grounds Race/Ethnic Origin
- Harassment on grounds of Religion
- Harassment on grounds of Age/Marital status/ Family Status/ Member of the travelling community.
- General Harassment or Bullying
1. Definitions of Harassment:
Sexual Harassment is defined as unwanted conduct based on a person’s gender which is offensive to the recipient, and which might threaten a persons job security or create a stressful, hostile or intimidating work environment.
While it is generally regarded that sexual harassment is an offence committed by men against women, the evidence of recent years shows that men are also victims of this form of maltreatment.
Sexual Harassment takes various forms, for example:
- Verbal – jokes, innuendo, requests for sexual favours, persisting in attempts to continue a relationship against the wishes of the other person.
- Visual – display of or sending offensive pictures, slogans
- Physical – unwanted physical contact, from “groping” to rape.
- Other – Harassment on grounds of sexual orientation may take several forms, from jokes and innuendo to serious physical assault and may include a person’s perceived rather than actual sexual orientation.
Harassment by Hotel Staff may include:
Verbal harassment – offensive jokes about a person’s race or ethnic origin (which may include members of the travelling community), or their country of origin.
Visual Harassment – display of material offensive to a particular racial or ethnic group, such as cartoons, racial propaganda material etc
Physical Harassment – physical assault
2. Definition of Bullying:
Bullying is repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individuals’ right to dignity at work.
An isolated incident of the behaviour described in this definition may be an affront to dignity at work but as a once-off incident is not considered to be bullying.
The following are some examples of bullying behaviour:
- Personal insults or name-calling.
- Public or private humiliation.
- Shouting at staff in public and/or private.
- Aggression, sneering, sarcasm.
- Persistently undermining an individual’s job performance.
- Constantly changing working guidelines.
- Making it difficult for staff to have access to general information, e.g. staff vacancy notices or staff information notices.
- Continually refusing reasonable requests for Annual Leave without good reason.
- Ignoring and isolating people on purpose and excluding them from discussions.
- Intimidation and threats in general.
3. Effects of Harassment in Hotel Staff:
- Cause distress and affect the employee’s confidence and self-esteem.
- Affect the recipient’s job performance.
- Create an upsetting and stressful work environment.
- A decrease in staff morale.
- Undermine the recipient’s job security.
- Affect productivity levels.
4. Locations where harassment can take place:
- In the workplace.
- In the public area.
- In the staff locker.
- In the guest room.
- In the Gym, Spa, Swimming pool and other recreational areas.
- Restaurant and F&B Outlets.
- Back of the house areas etc.
- At functions for staff such as Staff parties, Annual day, Company Outing or sports functions taking place under the aegis of the Hotel management.
- Any other place where employees are present on Hotel management business, Outdoor catering, trade shows, events, training courses, business meetings away from the Hotel management’s workplace, overnights away from the employed unit etc.
5. Dealing With Malicious Harassment Complaints
Malicious complaints will be treated seriously and may result in disciplinary action. In this regard, it should be noted that where a complaint is not upheld, this does not necessarily indicate that the complaint was malicious.
Responsibilities of Staff and Management:
Employees: In addition to securing their own behaviour does not cause problems, all employees have an important role in creating an environment where sexual harassment or bullying is unacceptable. They should make clear to others they find such behaviour unacceptable and support colleagues suffering such treatment.
Supervisors: In addition to securing their own behaviour does not cause problems, supervisors are responsible for preventing incidents of sexual harassment or bullying and must ensure that all staff members adhere to Hotel policy. Supervisors who become aware of incidents of sexual harassment are required to immediately advise their Manager.
Management: In addition to ensuring their own behaviour does not cause problems, the management team should:
- Know the Hotel management policy.
- Communicate the policy as necessary.
- Endeavour to maintain a harassment-free work environment.
- Immediately inform one of the contact people if a complaint is received.
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- If you believe you are being harassed or bullied you should consider carefully if that is the case. If so you should raise the problem with the alleged perpetrator, point out that their behaviour is unacceptable and ask that it stop.
- If the harassment/bullying does not cease or if you find it difficult or if you find it difficult or embarrassing to confront the alleged perpetrator, you may seek advice from one of the contact people listed at the end of this section, from your trade Union representative, or from a Senior Manager.
- It would be useful to keep a record of incidents, dates and witnesses if any.
- If you proceed with the complaint, you may contact one of the contact people for assistance who, depending on the nature of the complaint, will try to find a solution acceptable to both parties.
- Complaints will be handled speedily and in a confidential manner.
- They will be treated seriously and sympathetically.
- It is a requirement that all individuals involved maintain confidentiality on the subject.
- All concerned are guaranteed a fair and impartial hearing.
- If a problem is not resolved under the above Complaints Procedure, the Formal Procedure outlined below will apply.
Formal Procedures for Handling Complaints:
- For serious complaints, individual preference or where the problem is not resolved under the procedures outlined above, the formal procedure will apply.
- The person making the complaint will be required to put the complaint in writing.
- The alleged harasser will be given a copy of the written complaint and given three days to respond in writing.
- A formal investigation will be carried out by the investigators from the panel listed below, not including the person who was trying to resolve the problem informally.
- In view of the complex and sensitive nature of cases, the investigator may also enlist the assistance of outside experts in the field concerned.
- It is a requirement that all parties involved maintain confidentiality.
- Both the complainant and the person complained against may have representation at the hearings if they so wish.
- The investigation will be carried out speedily, within a four-week period if circumstances allow.
- Both parties will be notified in writing of the outcome of the investigation.
The outcome of Complaint Filed:
1) Should management decide that the complaint is well-founded; the alleged perpetrator(s) should be given a formal interview to determine an appropriate course of action. Such action could, for example, involve counselling and/or monitoring or progressing the issue through the disciplinary and grievance procedure.
2) If either party is unhappy with the outcome of the investigation, the issue may be referred to the Rights’ Commissioner Service.
This policy will be reviewed from time to time.
You should contact the following people if you wish to discuss any incidents with regard to this policy ___________________________.
I have read and understand the contents of this policy:
Signed (Employee):______________ Date:___________
Signed (Employer):______________ Date:___________