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Bullying, Harassment, Equality & Diversity

Bullying and Harassment – What is it?

Bullying and harassment is behaviour that makes someone feel intimidated or offended. Harassment is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010. Bullying itself is not against the law, but harassment is.

Harassment is when the unwanted behaviour is related to one of the following:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion of belief
  • Sexual orientation

Examples of bullying or harassing behaviour include:

  • Spreading malicious rumours
  • Unfair treatment
  • Picking on or regularly undermining someone
  • Denying someone’s training or promotion opportunities

Bullying and harassment can happen:

  • Face to face
  • By letter
  • By email
  • By phone
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Equality and Diversity – What is it?

Equality is about ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents and believing that no one should have poorer life chances because of where, what or to whom they were born, what they believe, or whether they have a disability.

The term ‘Equality’ in the context of a professional workplace is about ensuring employees, employers and colleagues are treated equally and are given equal opportunities, taking into account their specific individual needs relating to age, disability, culture, religion etc. Equality is NOT about treating everybody in the same way.

Diversity literally means difference. Diversity therefore consists of visible and non-visible factors, which include personal characteristics such as background, culture, personality and work-style. In addition to the characteristics that are protected under discrimination legislation in terms of race, disability, gender, religion and belief, sexual orientation and age.

A copy of Capella’s Equality, Diversity and Dignity at Work Policy is available on our Apprentice Hub here.

The Equality Act 2010, which came into force in October 2010, provides a modern, single legal framework with clear law to better tackle disadvantage and discrimination.

It is a legal requirement that Employers and public bodies implement procedures and make ‘reasonable adjustments’ in the workplace to ensure that all employees are treated equally (irrespective of gender, age, race etc).

The Human Rights Act 1998 sets out the common agreed values and emphasises that Employers have a duty to protect their employees from discrimination and are given equal opportunities regardless of race, religion, gender, disability etc.

What action can I take?

You should see if you can sort out the problem informally first. If you cannot, you should talk to your:

  • Manager
  • Human Resources (HR) Department
  • Trade Union Representative
  • Apprenticeship Training Provider – Training or Safeguarding Officer

If this does not work, you can make a formal complaint using your employer’s grievance procedure. The Equality Act (2010) recognises you may be worried about complaining, you have extra legal protection when you complain about discrimination.

 

Additional information

  • ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) provides free and impartial information and advice on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law: http://www.acas.org.uk/
  • https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/
  • https://www.gov.uk/workplace-bullying-and-harassment
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