Bullying/Harassment – Issued January 3rd 2018
Definition – Most people use the terms “bullying” and “harassment” interchangeably, and many definitions include bullying as a form of harassment. Harassment, in general terms, is unwanted conduct affecting the dignity of men and women in the workplace. It may be related to age, sex, race, disability, religion, nationality or any personal characteristic of the individual. Bullying may be characterised as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means which undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient. It has been written in accordance with the QUADS code of practice.
Introduction – All clients, guests and staff members using, working or visiting at Serenity Health have the right to do so free from abuse, intimidation, harassment or fear of violence. The Serenity Health programme has been developed in such a way as to enable you to feel safe, and to also protect you and others. In all instances, physical and mental abuse of clients, staff and visitors to Serenity Health is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. It is recognised however that it is possible for people to vent frustration whilst at Serenity Health, so the following process should only be used in those situations where the incident is deemed serious enough to be reported. In lesser cases, the behaviour will be challenged appropriately as part of the therapeutic role, with this in mind Serenity Health has created the policy outlined below.
Purpose – To create an environment for clients, guests and staff members that is free from bullying, abuse, intimidation, harassment and fear of violence, and that also encourages an environment where clients, guests and staff members are treated with dignity. Where sanctions will not be used in a punitive manner, and will only be used to ensure the safety of all those that use Serenity Health, and to ensure the clear maintenance of boundaries of acceptable behaviour, which in itself is a therapeutic intervention. To ensure that clients have clearly understood the policy, and the responsibility they have in adhering to it.
Legal Context – Various laws place responsibilities on employers to protect clients, guests and staff from discrimination and harassment, including:
- Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
- Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (as amended by the Sex Discrimination Act 1986)
- Race Relations Act 1976
- Disability Discrimination Act 1995
- Criminal Justice and Public Disorder Act 1994
- Employments Rights Act 1996
- Protection from Harassment Act 1997
- Crime and Disorder Act 1998
- Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000
- Employment Act 2002
- Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
- Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
- Human Rights Act 1998
Responsibility of staff and managers – All staff have personal responsibility for their own behaviour and for ensuring that they comply with the policy at this rehab clinic. There are a number of things that staff can do to help prevent harassment:
- Set a positive example by treating others with respect.
- Be aware of the Serenity Health policy and comply with it
- Do not make personal comments
- Do not accept behaviour that may be offensive when directed against you or others, and take positive action to ensure that it is challenged and/or reported.
- Be supportive of colleagues who may be subject to bullying and/or harassment.
Scope – This policy applies to all clients, guests and staff using, working or visiting Serenity Health.
Related policies – Client charter, complaints policy, client conduct/involvement and representation policy, client contract, confidentiality policy, Equality and Diversity Policy.
All managers have a responsibility to implement this policy and to bring it to the attention of clients and staff at Serenity Health, in order to establish and maintain an environment free of harassment and bullying.
For clients entering into a treatment agreement with the Serenity Health it is made clear in the Client charter that is signed on admission that any violent or abusive behaviour will not be tolerated. It is one of the articles in the charter that could lead to an immediate discharge if broken.
Managers at Serenity Health must:
- Treat a complaint seriously and deal with it promptly and confidentially, giving the client or staff member, and the alleged perpetrator full support during the whole process.
- Set a positive example by treating others with respect, and setting standards of acceptable behaviour; also, promote an environment where harassment and bullying is unacceptable and not tolerated.
- Tackle and where possible resolve incidents of harassment or bullying.
- Consult with CEO and other managers at any time for advice and support.
Bullying and Harassment
The Management Team
Approved – Care Home Manager