Dignity at Work and Study Policy
Swansea University is committed to providing a working and learning environment which will enable staff and students to fulfil their personal potential. The University accepts that such an environment cannot be created or sustained if individually or collectively staff and students are subject to harassment of any kind. In accordance with the Equality Act 2010, Swansea University’s values and other relevant University Policies, everyone should be treated with dignity and respect at work and study.
The University recognises that lack of dignity can seriously worsen working, learning and social conditions. For an individual it can cause demotivation, loss of self-confidence and self-esteem, stress related ill health, poor work quality and reduced output. For the University it can cause increased absenteeism, increased staff turnover, poor working relationships, decline in productivity and results, and damage to the University’s reputation.
All employees have an obligation not to behave in a manner that could be offensive to others and harassment in any form will not be tolerated. Incidents of harassment will be regarded extremely seriously and may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. The University is committed to investigating allegations of harassment fully, fairly, empathetically and confidentially. Investigations will be carried out in a timely manner depending on the complexities of the case. The University will protect a complainant’s wish for confidentiality, though where a founded complaint identifies a criminal act or illegal discrimination, the University has a legal responsibility to take appropriate action.
The University recognises that it has a duty to protect its employees and students from frivolous or malicious complaints and as such, appropriate disciplinary action may be taken if it is demonstrated that a complaint is made on a deliberately frivolous or malicious basis. It acknowledges that for some recipients of harassment the distress may have been caused inadvertently and the person responsible may be unaware of the effect of his or her behaviour. In such cases, disciplinary action against the perpetrator may not necessarily be appropriate. However any complainant will be protected from victimisation or retaliation if they have brought that complaint in good faith.
The University undertakes to operate procedures to deal with any problems of harassment and prevent reoccurrence of these problems.
Responsibilities under this policy:
- Swansea University Council is responsible for ensuring that this Policy is implemented, monitored, evaluated and reviewed. Council will receive and consider regular reports in order to monitor the effectiveness of the policy.
- The Vice Chancellor is responsible for ensuring that the policy and any related procedures and arrangements are implemented and that all staff are aware of their responsibilities and accountabilities under the policy and are adequately supported in order for them to appropriately fulfil these responsibilities.
- The Registrar and Human Resources Director will ensure that members of the University with specific responsibilities are provided with training.
- Heads of Colleges/Directorates will be responsible for ensuring that their staff are aware of their responsibilities in promoting dignity at work and study. They will ensure that through their own actions, remarks or behaviour they do not conduct themselves in a manner which others may perceive as harassment. They will ensure that the University’s policy is implemented within their area of responsibility.
- All students and members of staff must ensure they conduct themselves in such a manner so as not to harass anyone whilst working/studying, and they will be personally liable for any behaviour that causes harassment to another.
Definitions of HR terms used in this policy:
Harassment - unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.
Protected Characteristic - the grounds upon which discrimination is unlawful. The characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
List of Harassment Advisors (this list is constantly updated to reflect any staff changes)