These examples are not intended to be exhaustive:
What behaviour constitutes bullying?
It may be difficult at times to distinguish bullying from firm management or supervision or from vigorous academic debate. The distinguishing factor is that the acceptable forms of behaviour have the effect of supporting and developing potential and or promoting desired work performance, whereas bullying has the effect of undermining, humiliating, denigrating or injuring an individual.
The University will use the “reasonableness test” to determine whether behaviour amounts to bullying. Consideration will be given to the perception of the complainant and whether the behaviour in question could reasonably be considered to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the complainant.
Bullying may occur through physical one to one contact or by use of electronic technology. This form of bullying is known as Cyberbullying and may occur by such means as text messages, phone calls, emails, and postings of messages, pictures or profiles on social networking sites.
The following behaviour generally amounts to bullying:
- Ridiculing a person
- Shouting or screaming at a person
- Setting someone up to fail (e.g. withholding necessary information or deliberate work overload)
- Unwarranted or invalid criticism and criticism which lacks the necessary constructive support to help the recipient improve their performance
- Persistently ‘singling out’ a person without good reason
- Deliberately excluding, isolating or ignoring an individual
- Making threats or comments about job security or academic success or failure
- Unnecessarily public
What behaviour constitutes harassment?
Harassment can take the form of verbal communication, written communication through such means as letters, social media, emails, text messages and graffiti, or it can be of a physical nature. It may be expressed directly to the person concerned, occur in their presence or be communicated about them to a third party.
The types of unlawful harassment specifically prohibited under the Equality Act 201
are described below and examples given of the types of conduct considered as harassment and as unacceptable by the University:
Racial harassment is unwanted conduct that occurs on the grounds of a person’s race, including their ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality. It is usually, although not exclusively, directed at individuals from minority ethnic groups.
Racist jokes, ‘banter’ and language; the expression of racist views and stereotypes on the grounds of race; the display of racist materials; deliberately excluding or refusing to cooperate with someone on the grounds of their race; behaviour that focuses upon a person’s appearance, dress, culture or customs; and behaviour that has the effect of fostering hatred and/or prejudice towards individuals of particular racial groups.
Sexual harassment is unwanted conduct by either gender that is sexual in nature. Examples include:
Physical contact, ranging from invasion of personal space, inappropriate touching or physical assault; intrusive questions and remarks about a person’s private life; inappropriate remarks about a person’s appearance or dress; sexually explicit language and jokes; verbal and physical innuendo; use of demeaning or gender- specific terminology; the display or circulation of sexually explicit materials; coercive demands for sexual favours such as promotion or academic success depending on the response to the demand; intrusion by pestering, spying or stalking; persistent, unwanted advances (note that inviting a colleague or friend out would not in itself amount to harassment, but if the recipient indicated that the approach was unwelcome and the individual persisted in making such approaches, this is likely to be considered harassment by the recipient).
Harassment on the grounds of Gender
Harassment on the grounds of gender describes unwanted conduct that is directed at a person because they are male or female. Harassment on the grounds of sex is distinct from sexual harassment. Whereas the former behaviour relates to a person’s sex, it is not sexual in nature.
Deliberately excluding someone because they are the only man or woman in a team, group or class.
Harassment on the grounds of Disability
Harassment on the grounds of disability is unwanted conduct directed at a person on the grounds of their physical or mental disability. It may relate to the disability itself or
the person’s real or presumed capabilities. Examples include:
Ignoring, disparaging or ridiculing an individual because of their disability; inappropriate personal remarks; unnecessarily intrusive and inappropriate questions about a person’s condition; excessive and unnecessary references to a person’s disability; and refusing to work or study alongside someone with a disability.
Harassment of the grounds of Religion or Belief
Harassment on the grounds of religion or belief is unwanted conduct directed at a person on the grounds of their religion or a comparable belief system. It can also occur because a person is presumed to be of a particular religion or belief, even if this is not the case, or on the grounds of a person’s non-adherence to a religion or belief system.
Insulting or ridiculing a person’s religion or belief; expressing stereotyped perceptions and assumptions about a religion or belief and its followers; and coercive pressure to convert or conform to a religion or belief system.
Harassment on the grounds of Sexual Orientation
Harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation is unwanted conduct directed at a person on the grounds of their actual or perceived sexual orientation. It most frequently affects individuals who are gay, lesbian or bisexual, but can sometimes be directed at heterosexuals too. Harassment on these grounds may often go unreported because a person does not wish to disclose their sexuality.
Intrusive questions about a person’s private life; homophobic comments, jokes and ‘banter’ about sexuality; gossip and speculation about a person’s sexuality; refusal to work or study alongside someone on the grounds of their sexuality; actual physical assault; and ‘outing’ someone by, for example, the release of personal information.
Harassment on the grounds of Gender Reassignment
Harassment on the grounds of gender reassignment is unwanted conduct directed at a person who intends to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a gender reassignment process, (that is, to change their identity from one gender to the other).
Excluding a person; jokes and name-calling; and refusing to acknowledge someone in his/her acquired gender.
Harassment on the grounds of Age
Harassment on the grounds of age is unwanted conduct related to a person’s age. It can occur on the grounds of a person’s real or perceived age and applies to people of all ages.
Jokes and name-calling; comments relating to a person’s age; and comments about their presumed abilities.
Examples of victimisation include:
- refusing to advance an individual academically or professionally
- refusing to provide a reference once the working or learning relationship has ended
- labelling an individual a ‘troublemaker’
- isolating someone because he or she has made a complaint