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Anti-Bullying week

Friday, November 16, 2018

As you are no doubt aware, this week is National Anti-Bullying week. This year’s theme is “Choose Respect”.

We expect you will be incorporating this into your week with the children as the main focus of this week is in respect of children. However, it not only takes place in playgrounds and classrooms, it can also take place at work between adult members of staff.

This could be verbally, by actions or inactions or even take place on social media by colleagues. It can cause an employee to feel intimidated, humiliated and lead to emotional distress. Bullying can also result in sickness absence, grievances being raised, constructive dismissal claims if the appropriate action is not taken by the employer and even claims for harassment or discrimination.

It is, therefore, important in your duty of care, that as an employer you create a safe and secure environment, in which staff can work. We would recommend that an employer can create a culture of kindness and respect towards others as follows:

  • Zero tolerance: adopt a zero tolerance approach to bullying and similar behaviour and make sure staff are aware of this. Taking prompt, fair and reasonable action against perpetrators will help achieve this, as well as offering support to the victim;
  • Policies: ensure you put relevant policies in place to explain acceptable and unacceptable conduct and make all staff aware of these. This can include an anti-harassment and bullying policy, equal opportunities and diversity policy, electronic communications policy, social media policy, a grievance policy and disciplinary policy;
  • Training: ensure managers are trained appropriately in equality and handling allegations of bullying/grievances. This will not only help ensure concerns are resolved promptly before escalating but can also serve as a defence in a tribunal claim;
  • Set an example: ensure all senior members of staff/managers/governors/heads of school set a good example in their treatment and conduct towards others; and
  • Take it seriously: treat any concerns raised by staff seriously, promptly, fairly and sensitively. It is also important to maintain any necessary confidentiality. This will help staff feel confident to raise issues in the future and have confidence in the school’s procedures. Where any concerns are upheld, ensure appropriate disciplinary action is taken against the perpetrators of such conduct.

If you have a particular situation related to the above that you would like advice on, or if you would like a copy of any of our policies referred to above, please contact us on 0845 459 7013 or email employmentlawadvice@judicium.com.

Don't forget...

.... that our HR Advisory service now includes an annual visit to your school.  You can use this visit to apprise us of any new developments in your school or alternatively to assist you with any HR issues that are better dealt with face to face.

There is no extra cost for this visit and it is available to all HR Advisory clients old and new.  If you would like to book a visit by one of our consultants to your school, please contact us on 0845 459 7013.

"I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Judicium for their expertise in dealing with a recent staffing issue; which prior to their intervention was becoming stressful and unnecessarily drawn out. To be honest, before Judicium's involvement I was starting to become demoralised by a perceived lack of justice.” Anna Bosher, Head teacher – St James RC Primary School

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