Language Pal is committed to providing a working environment free from bullying and harassment. We aim to ensure that all staff are treated, and treat others, with dignity and respect. This policy covers bullying or harassment which occurs at work and out of the workplace, including on work trips or at work-related events or social functions. This policy applies to all staff at all levels including employees, management, agency and casual workers, and independent contractors.

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What is harassment?

  • Harassment is any unwanted conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating a person's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. A single incident can amount to harassment. A person may be harassed even if they were not the intended "target".

  • Harassment also includes treating someone less favourably because they have submitted or refused to submit to such behaviour in the past. It is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010 to harass a person because of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

  • Sexual harassment in the form of a “hostile environment” consists of words, signs, jokes, pranks, intimidation or physical violence which are of a sexual nature, or which are directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex (even if not sexual in nature).

  • Sexual harassment also consists of:
    • Any unwanted verbal or physical advances, sexually explicit derogatory statements, or sexually discriminatory remarks made by someone in the workplace which are offensive or objectionable to the recipient, which cause the recipient discomfort or humiliation, or which interfere with the recipient’s job performance.
    • A type of sexual harassment known as “quid pro quo” harassment occurs when a person in authority tries to trade job benefits for sexual favors. This can include hiring, promotion, continued employment or any other terms conditions or privileges of employment. Only supervisors and managers are deemed to engage in this kind of harassment, because co-workers do not have the authority to grant or withhold benefits.
    • Sexual harassment can occur between people of any gender identity.

      It also includes conduct of a sexual nature (sexual harassment). Harassment is unacceptable even if it does not fall within any of these categories. Examples of harassment include, but are not limited to:

      • Unwanted physical conduct including touching, pinching, pushing and grabbing;
      • Unwelcome sexual advances or suggestive behaviour;
      • Offensive e-mails, text messages or social media content or the display of offensive materials;
      • Unwanted jokes, banter, mocking, mimicking or belittling a person.
What is bullying?

Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behavior, an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient. Bullying can include the use of personal strength or the power to coerce through fear or intimidation, not necessarily from someone in a position of authority. Bullying may be physical, verbal or non-verbal. It can include conduct that is not face-to-face, including via text message, email and social media. Examples of bullying include:

  • Physical or psychological threats;
  • Overbearing and intimidating levels of supervision;
  • Inappropriate derogatory remarks about a person or their performance;
  • Shouting at staff;
  • Persistently picking on people in front of others or in private;
  • Blocking promotion and training opportunities;
  • Regularly and deliberately ignoring or excluding staff from work activities or work related social events;
  • Setting a person up to fail by overloading them with work or setting impossible deadlines;
  • Regularly making the same person the butt of jokes.
  • Legitimate and reasonable criticism of a staff member’s performance or behavior, or reasonable management instructions, does not amount to bullying.

Breaches of this Policy Bullying and harassment are not tolerated in our workplace and all the staff is required to treat each other, along with our customers, suppliers, and visitors, with dignity and respect. Breaches of this policy will be dealt with in accordance with our disciplinary procedure. Serious cases of bullying or harassment may amount to gross misconduct resulting in dismissal.

What we expect from everyone associated with us:

To create an environment where everyone feels welcomed, supported, and respected, we ask all persons entering community spaces to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Do not harass others, and do your part to prevent and stop harassment. Contribute to a harassment-free environment by refraining from engaging in harassing behaviour yourself, and also by standing besides, speaking up, and acting in support of others if you see our Code of Conduct or this policy is being violated.
  • Be Professional and show respect towards others. We expect that you as a Participant will comport yourself in a professional way at all times, whether or not you are interacting with our employees. We respect every person and prioritise personal development in ourselves and others. Respectful behaviour includes listening before speaking and asking questions rather than assuming intentions. It means respecting others as they seek to build meaningful connections, and entering into private meetings or conversations only when invited, or after asking permission. It also means listening when someone requests to end a conversation or communication with you. It also means respecting staff, listening to directives, not interrupting programming, following the program as designed, and sharing only constructive, solution-driven feedback. It also means respecting the personal space and personal boundaries of all individuals with whom you interact within our community.
  • Contribute and participate from a place of openness and speak up. To do so, you must practice sensitivity, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence. If you feel that someone is not coming from a place of openness and has intentionally offended or hurt you with their words or actions say something to that person. If you do not feel comfortable or safe doing so in the moment, contact a designated authority within the company.
  • Respect your own needs and stand up for yourself. Pay attention to your own needs. If you are uncertain about someone’s intention, you can ask for clarification. We hope that you will feel safe and empowered to stand up for yourself if you feel that you have been treated unfairly, but if not, we are available to intervene. Please contact the designated authorities in the company.
  • Engage in constructive dialogue. We bring together people from many different walks of life. Recognise that someone else’s frame of reference is likely to be different from your own. When conflicts arise, see what you can learn from another’s point of view. Shaming and/or blaming is not helpful.
  • Bystander Intervention. Do not be a passive bystander where you observe or become aware of conduct that violates our rules and policies. Intervene by reporting the conduct by using our reporting process described below. Our organization has policies that prohibit sexual and other unlawful harassment for our employees and complaint reporting procedures for complainants and witnesses.
You also agree that you will not:
  • Engage in sexual harassment of any kind, including unwanted attention, comments, remark, or jokes of a sexual nature or inappropriate physical contact. The person who determines whether conduct is unwelcome is the recipient of the conduct.
  • Engage in unwelcome conduct based on or because of an individual’s legally protected category like race, sex, gender (even if not of a sexual nature), gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, national origin, etc.
  • Take photographs, video, or audiotapes with/of people who have not given you their permission to do so.
  • Be disruptive or boisterous, reckless, drink excessively, stalk, follow or threaten anyone (whether in person or on social media and whether during or after the event).
  • Abuse power.
  • Retaliate against anyone for making a good faith complaint about a violation of the Code of Conduct or this anti-harassment policy or for participating in an investigation of such a complaint.

Staff who make complaints or who participate in good faith in any investigation must not suffer any form of retaliation or victimisation as a result. However, making a false allegation deliberately and in bad faith will be treated as misconduct and dealt with under our disciplinary procedure. Anyone found to have retaliated against or victimised someone in this way will be subject to disciplinary action under our disciplinary procedure.

If you believe you are being harassed or Bullied If you believe you are being harassed or bullied, you may wish to raise the problem informally with the person responsible. Explain the situation and how it has made you feel. It can be helpful to describe the event so the other person is clear about your concerns. Use the opportunity to ask the person to change or stop their behavior.

Alternatively you may speak to your manager who can provide confidential advice and assistance in resolving the issue formally or informally. If you do not feel that informal steps are appropriate, or they have been unsuccessful, you should raise the matter formally under our grievance procedure.

All complaints will be investigated in accordance with our grievance procedure if we consider that there is sufficient evidence to suggest you have been harassed or bullied, we will consider the appropriate action to take.

If the person accused is an employee, this may include invoking our disciplinary procedure. Whether or not your complaint is upheld, we will consider how best to manage any ongoing working relationship between you and the person concerned.