Bullying and Harassment Pages
Organisation or Team Culture Issues
Where the investigating officer decides that there is sufficient evidence of a case of bullying and or harassment to answer and that this is due to a collective, organisational or cultural cause, the matter will be referred to the Head of Service or Service Manager. They will then be required to look into the matter reported to identify the root causes and develop an action plan to address these.
Dealing with Counter Complaints
Where a complaint of bullying or harassment is made against a person and that person makes a counter complaint of bullying or harassment against the complainant, then the investigating officer will normally consider the counter allegation at the same time as the initial complaint.
It will be necessary for the investigating officer to gather all the facts from the counter complainant, adopting the same approach used for the initial complaint. This will include interviewing the counter complainant, along with any witnesses and records of dates, times and places of alleged incidents.
Only when the investigation is concluded will the investigating officer be able to consider all of the information gathered and make an overall judgement as to whether bullying and/or harassment has occurred.
Dealing with Anonymous Complaints
Individuals accused of unwanted or inappropriate behaviour must be given sufficient information to allow them to understand the complaint against them so that they have the opportunity to answer the allegation(s) and give a full account of their actions. In most cases this will involve identifying the individual who has made the complaint.
Some individuals may raise a complaint but may not want to be identified. The manager should encourage the employee to follow the Managing Bullying and Harassment policy/procedure so that the matter can be dealt with and should offer reassurance and support in relation to any concerns about participation in the procedure.
Where an anonymous complaint is received and the identity of the complainant is unknown the manager should conduct an informal preliminary investigation.
Relocating or Transferring an Employee
During the Process
It may be that either the Accused or the Complainant requires to be moved during the investigation. This could be because of ongoing issues between the two parties which make working together during the investigation impossible.
This move is without assumption of guilt and should not have a negative impact on either party. If an employee is to be temporarily re-located, then you should hold a meeting with them explaining the details and follow this up in writing.
After the Process
Where the complaint is upheld, it may be necessary to relocate or transfer one party. This will be dependent on the nature of each case and normally the accused employee would be moved.
However, this may be considered impracticable and alternatively, the complainant may be moved. Should this be the case, then every effort will be made to identify a suitable transfer and the complainant should not suffer any detriment as a result of the move.
All parties should be fully briefed of any move and the necessary arrangements should be put in place without delay. Every effort should be made to allow the transition to be as smooth as is reasonably practicable.
The managers of the parties should make the necessary arrangements for the transfer or relocation following the investigating officer’s recommendation(s) and the authority of the relevant Head of Service.
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