The College wishes it to be clear that any form of harassment by or of its senior members, junior members, students or staff is incompatible with its proper functioning and may be against the law. Every effort will be made to ensure that any such problems are dealt with quickly and effectively. This policy must be read in conjunction with the Student Complaint Policy and Disciplinary Procedures of non-academic nature.
Definition of Harassment
Harassment and bullying may be defined as any form of unwelcome behaviour that affects a person’s dignity. It’s the conduct of one person against another or others when an intimidating, hostile or offensive atmosphere is created for the complainant(s). Harassment is defined as per the Equality Act 2010 as being.
“…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.”
There are three types of harassment covered by this law:
Harassment can be related to protected characteristics like age; disability; race; sex; gender reassignment; religion or belief; sexual orientation.
Sexual harassment is defined as less favourable treatment of an employee or student because s/he submits to or rejects sexual harassment related to sex or gender reassignment. Incitement to such behaviour is also harassment and it may occur without any offence being intended. This harassment is aggravated if it involves the abuse of a position of responsibility or trust.
At LSME we discourage any form of behaviour that embarrasses a person’s cultural, race or sexual characteristics (including sexual orientation) that is unwanted by the recipient, or which creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment, is not tolerated. This may range from derogatory name-calling through verbal abuse or ridicule to physical attack. Sexual harassment may range from the display or discussion of embarrassing material and suggestive looks or remarks through physical contact and sexual propositions to indecent assault.
Actions to be taken
Anyone feeling themselves the object of harassment may seek personal support from friends, tutors, Welfare Officer, Principal, members of the student representatives or anyone else they know. They should not feel that their own behaviour in any respect excuses the harassment; nor should they hesitate to act on a single instance, as early action often minimises the harmful effects.
If they feel able to do so, they may raise the matter directly with the person whose behaviour is causing offence, pointing out what is unwelcome in their behaviour and asking them to stop; they should not feel obliged to do this, however, nor will they be thought to have consented to the behaviour by not doing so.
In any case, they may make a complaint about the harassment to either of two people nominated by the management team (one of whom shall normally be the Senior lecturer and who shall be of different sexes), who will then investigate the complaint in whatever way she or he considers appropriate using the existing Complaint Policy and Procedure. If it proves impossible to resolve the complaint informally, further action will be taken as follows. A complaint against a member of staff will be dealt with under the terms of employment and Staff Disciplinary Procedures applicable. A complaint against a junior member of the College will be dealt with under the College’s statutory disciplinary procedures, probably involving referral to the Attendance and Disciplinary Committee. A complaint against a senior member of the College will be referred to the Executive Director and dealt with under statutory provisions. While the College cannot act directly against someone with no connection with the College, representations will be made to the relevant employer or college where possible, and the complainant will be supported in any complaint they would like to make to the police. An alleged offence of a criminal nature (e.g. incitement to racial hatred, or indecent assault) will be dealt with under the law of the land.
In all cases, the complainant will be informed of the outcome. If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of their complaint they may wish to contact an independent advisor such as the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for further.
Next Review Date: October 2020