Swift is an inclusive employer who values all employees and promotes a positive ethos through The Swift Way and FISH! Philosophy.
We recognises that all employees have a right to work in an environment in which the dignity of all is respected and free from harassment and bullying. We are committed to eliminating intimidation in any form.
This Policy applies to harassment and discrimination against a person’s protected characteristics, and also breaches the Company's Equal Opportunities Policy.
Bullying and harassment is not necessarily face to face, it may occur through written communications, visual images (for example pictures of a sexual nature or embarrassing photographs of colleagues), email, phone, and automatic supervision methods – such as computer recording of downtime from work, or recording of telephone conversations – if these are not universally applied to all workers.
Employees can complain of behaviour that they find offensive even if it is not directed at them.
1.1 For the purpose of this policy harassment is described as per the Equality Act 2010 as:
" The essential characteristic of harassment is that the action(s) is unwanted by the recipient, or 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”.
1.2 General Harassment
Harassment can take many forms and may be directed in particular against women and ethnic minorities or towards people because of their age, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability or some other characteristic. It may involve action, behaviour, comment or physical contact which is found objectionable, or which causes offence; it can result in the recipient feeling threatened, humiliated or patronised and it can create an intimidating work environment. Harassment may not only happen in the workplace but can encroach into a person’s personal life outside work. Harassment related to protected characteristics is specifically outlawed by the Equality Act 2010.
1.3 Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment can be defined as an uninvited, unreciprocated and unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature which is offensive to the person involved and causes that person to feel threatened, humiliated or embarrassed. Examples of sexual harassment are (not exhaustive):
requests for sexual favours, including implied or overt promises of preferential treatment or threats concerning present or future employment status;
offensive gestures or comments, sexually orientated jibes, innuendo or jokes and/or the display of sexually offensive visual material such as calendars, photographs, books or videos.
unwanted physical contact;
image based, such as upskirting or sharing/threats to share images online
Sexual harassment may be experienced by anyone, no matter their sexual orientation or identified gender, as a result of the conduct of another. It applies equally regardless of grade or level of job and may also occur when dealing with external clients and/or members of the public.
Harassment of a sexual nature is specifically outlawed by the Equality Act 2010.
1.4 Racial or Sectarian Harassment
In the workplace, racial or sectarian harassment may take the form of actual or threatened physical abuse or it may involve offensive jokes, verbal abuse, language, graffiti or literature of a racist or sectarian nature or offensive remarks about a person's skin colour, physical characteristics or religion. It may also include repeated exclusion of a person from an ethnic or religious minority from conversations, patronising remarks, unfair allocation of work or pressure about the speed and/or quality of their work in a way which differs from the treatment of other employees. Harassment related to racial or sectarian characteristics is harassment due to protected characteristics and is specifically outlawed by the Equality Act 2010.
Bullying is the intimidation or belittling of someone through the misuse of power or position that leaves the recipient feeling hurt, upset, vulnerable or helpless. It is often inextricably linked to the areas of harassment described above.
The following are examples of bullying (not exhaustive):
Unjustified criticism of an individual’s personal or professional performance, shouting at an individual, criticising an individual in front of others.
Spreading malicious rumours or making malicious allegations.
Intimidation or ridicule of individuals with disabilities and /or learning difficulties.
Ignoring or excluding an individual from the team / Company
insulting someone by word or behaviour
sharing confidential information
making threats or comments about job security without foundation
deliberately undermining a competent worker by overloading and constant criticism
2. Responsibilities of Managers
2.1 Every manager has an obligation to prevent harassment / bullying and to take immediate action once it has been identified.
2.2 Allegations of harassment or bullying received either informally or formally must be dealt with promptly and sensitively.
2.3 It may not always be appropriate for a line manager to be involved with specific complaints. For example, if the complaint relates to the conduct of the line manager.
The procedure in Section 5 sets out the alternatives for such instances.
3. Responsibilities of Employees
3.1 Every employee has a personal responsibility NOT to harass or bully other members of staff.
3.2 An employee who becomes aware of harassment or bullying occurring should bring the matter to the attention of his/her manager.
4.1 An employee who feels that he/she has been harassed or bullied has a right to seek redress via the procedures set out below.
5.1 The first step for an employee who feels that he/she is being subjected to harassment or bullying is to speak to their Line Manager, however, they may feel confident to explain clearly and professionally to the person(s) engaged in the unwanted activities, that the behaviour is unwelcome, that it offends or makes him/her feel uncomfortable.
• if the complainant feels the bullying or harassment is significant, they should speak to their Line Manager straight away, who may suggest that they keep a record of any incidents, detailing when, where, what occurred, and witnesses (if any);
5.2 If the complaint relates to the conduct of the complainant's manager, the complainant may choose to discuss the matter with a member of the SLT.
5.3 The SLT/Manager will investigate the complaint, which may result in discussing the matter with the complainant to agree a course of action. The complainant may be accompanied by a representative or colleague at these meetings.
5.4 as part of the investigation, the alleged harasser will also have the right to state their version of events to the manager and to also be accompanied by a representative or colleague. The right to be accompanied at this meeting is set out in the Employment Relations Act 1999.
5.5 The complainant must be assured that he/she will not be discriminated against or victimised for raising the complaint. Confidentiality will be observed throughout and the need for any disclosure of the details of the case will be discussed and agreed.
5.6 if at any stage of the process the complainant, the manager dealing with the complaint or the accused requires further information, advice or guidance, external services may be engaged.
5.7 If the situation cannot be resolved informally then the complainant has the right to pursue his or her complaint formally via the Company's Grievance Procedure.
5.8 Where there is evidence that harassment has occurred, prompt and corrective action will be taken, including disciplinary action where appropriate. Harassment is a serious offence that may result in summary dismissal or criminal recourse.
6. Monitoring and Review
6.1 The Senior Management Team will be responsible for monitoring and reviewing the Policy.
6.2 Monitoring will include assessing how this policy is working in practice, reviewing it annually, and considering and taking action to address any issues
Managing Director Name: Gregory Morrall
Reviewed on: 20/07/2023
Review Due: 19/07/2024Reviewed by: Claire Finucane