Bullying and Harassment Policy

Updated 23rd November 2018.

  1. Introduction
  2. We are an equal opportunities employer. This means that we will make good faith efforts to comply with the spirit and letter of the equality laws and other laws.

    It is the policy of The Playing Space to provide a neutral and harmonious environment that is free from harassment and intimidation, where all employees, management, beneficiaries, volunteers and supporters are treated with dignity and respect. Bullying or harassment is unacceptable and will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

    All employees, management, beneficiaries, volunteers and supporters of The Playing Space are expected to comply with this policy and not to behave in a way that humiliates, intimidates or undermines others.

    The Playing Space is dedicated to ensuring that all participants and employees involved in our activities are treated and valued equally, regardless of sex, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, additional educational needs, disability, pregnancy or maternity, and sexual orientation.

  3. What is Harassment?
  4. Harassment is unwanted conduct related to the equality grounds which damages, or which is done with the aim of damaging, a person’s dignity or of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person.

    Many forms of misbehaviour may amount to harassment; examples include:

    • physical conduct such as assaulting a person or making obscene gestures;
    • verbal conduct such as making racist, sexist, sectarian or homophobic remarks; making derogatory comments about a person’s age or disability; or singing songs of this nature;
    • visual or written material containing racist, sexist, sectarian, homophobic or other derogatory words or pictures (e.g. in posters, graffiti, letters or emails);
    • isolating a person or refusing to co-operate or help them at work or by excluding them from work-related social activities;
    • forcing a person to offer sexual favours or to take part in religious or political activities.
  5. What is Bullying?
  6. Bullying is similar to harassment in the sense that it too is offensive, hostile or oppressive behaviour. The main difference is that bullying behaviour need not be related to the equality grounds, but may be done for other reasons, such as jealousy or personal dislike, revenge or insecurity.

  7. Implications of Harassment and Bullying
  8. Harassment and bullying can damage the health, confidence, morale and performance of employees who are affected by it. Harassment is unlawful under the equality laws. Harassment and bullying may also be civil or criminal offences and may contravene health and safety law.

    Quite apart from the legal implications, both harassment and bullying are contrary to the standards of behaviour that we expect of our employees. Both types of behaviour are unacceptable in our workplace and are not permitted or condoned. We will treat such behaviour as misconduct, which may warrant dismissal from employment.

  9. Employees’ Rights
  10. Our employees have a right to work in a good and harmonious environment that is free from harassment and bullying and to complain about such behaviour should it occur.

  11. Grievance Procedure
  12. We have established an internal grievance procedure to deal with such complaints and we would encourage aggrieved employees to use it. All complaints will be dealt with seriously, promptly and confidentially.

    Employees who make complaints, and others who give evidence or information in connection with such complaints, will not be victimised (i.e. they will not be discriminated against, harassed or bullied in retaliation for their actions). Victimisation is also discrimination contrary to the equality laws and this policy. We will treat it as misconduct, which may warrant dismissal from employment.

  13. Employees’ Responsibilities
  14. All our employees must comply with this policy. They must treat each other with dignity and respect. They must not themselves commit any acts of harassment or bullying against any person, such as their co-workers, our job applicants or our customers. Such behaviour will not be permitted or condoned. We will treat it as misconduct, which may warrant dismissal from employment.

    All our employees should discourage harassment and bullying by making it clear that they find such behaviour unacceptable and by supporting co-workers who suffer such treatment. Any employee who is aware of any incidence of harassment or bullying should alert a manager or supervisor to enable us to deal with it.

  15. Employer’s responsibilities
  16. We will continually make good faith efforts to implement this policy. Managing Partner, Gabi Maddocks will carry out the main responsibility for this. But all employees have a responsibility to adhere to this policy on a day-to-day basis, especially in setting a good example for our students to follow, and to intervene where necessary to protect and reassure employees.

    To implement this policy, we will:

    • provide all partners and employees (including self-employed teachers and assistants) with a copy of this policy and explain it to them;
    • provide appropriate training to partners and employees (including self-employed teachers and assistants);
    • ensure that all complaints of harassment and bullying are dealt with promptly, seriously and confidentially and in accordance with our internal grievance procedure;
    • set a good example by treating employees with fairness, dignity and respect;
    • be alert to unacceptable behaviour and take appropriate action to stop it;
    • monitor all incidents of harassment and bullying and review the effectiveness of this policy periodically.