Kernow Men’s Society Anti Harassment and Bullying Policy
We are committed to having a group which is free from harassment and bullying and to ensuring that all members (accepting that the group only comprises of men aged 18 and over) and others who come into contact with us in the course of our activities, are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, transgender status, marital or family status, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origins, creed, culture, religion or belief, age or disability. Striving to ensure that the environment is free of harassment and bullying and that everyone is treated with dignity and respect is central to ensuring equal opportunities in the group.
This policy and procedure is intended to support this commitment in practice and to provide guidance to the committee and all members on how to deal with concerns of bullying or harassment.
We will not tolerate bullying or harassment in our group, whether the conduct is a one-off act or repeated course of conduct, and whether done purposefully or not. Neither will we tolerate retaliation against, or victimisation of, any person involved in bringing a complaint of harassment or bullying. Retaliation or victimisation will not be acceptable and will be dealt with by the committee.
Allegations of bullying and harassment will be treated seriously. Investigations will be carried out promptly, sensitively and, as far as possible, confidentially. If, after an investigation, we decide that anyone has harassed or bullied another member, then they may be asked to leave the group.
Any members who make allegations of bullying or harassment in good faith will not be treated less favourably as a result. False accusations of harassment or bullying can have a serious effect on innocent individuals. Members have a responsibility not to make false allegations. False allegations made by a member in bad faith may well lead to that member being required to leave the group.
What type of treatment amounts to bullying or harassment?
Bullying or harassment is something that has happened that is unwelcome, unwarranted and causes a detrimental effect. If a member complains that they are being bullied or harassed, then they have a grievance which must be dealt with regardless of whether or not their complaint accords with a standard definition.
It is important to recognise that conduct which one person may find acceptable, another may find totally unacceptable. All members must therefore treat their colleagues with respect and appropriate sensitivity.
Bullying does not include appropriate criticism of a member’s behaviour.
Reporting concerns- What you should do if you witness an incident you believe to be harassment or bullying:-
If you witness such behaviour you should report the incident in confidence to a member of the committee. Such reports will be taken seriously and will be treated in strict confidence as far as it is possible to do so.
What you should do if you are being bullied or harassed by another member of KMS:-
If you are being bullied or harassed by another member of KMS, there are two possible avenues for you, informal or formal.
If you are being bullied or harassed by another member of KMS, you may be able to resolve the situation yourself by explaining clearly to the perpetrator(s) that their behaviour is unacceptable, contrary to our policy and must stop. Alternatively, you may wish to ask a fellow member to put this on your behalf or to be with you when confronting the perpetrator(s).
If the above approach does not work or if you do not want to try to resolve the situation in this way, you should raise the issue with a member of the committee. The committee will discuss with you the option of trying to resolve the situation informally by:
- Telling the alleged perpetrator(s), without prejudging the matter, that there has been a complaint that their behaviour is having an adverse effect on a fellow member;
- That such behaviour is contrary to our policy;
- That the continuation of such behaviour could amount to a the alleged perpetrator(s) being required to leave the group.
It may be possible for the committee to have this conversation with the alleged perpetrator(s) without revealing your name, if this is what you want. They will also stress that the conversation is confidential.
In certain circumstances we may be able to involve a neutral third party (a mediator) to facilitate a resolution of the problem. The committee will discuss this with you if it is appropriate.
If your complaint is resolved informally, the alleged perpetrator(s) will not usually be subject to disciplinary sanctions. However, in exceptional circumstances (such as a serious allegation of sexual or racial harassment or in cases where a problem has happened before) we may decide to investigate further and take more formal action notwithstanding that you raised the matter informally. We will consult with you before taking this step.
Raising a formal complaint:-
If informal resolution is unsuccessful or inappropriate, you can make a formal complaint about the harassment or bullying to the committee. A formal complaint may ultimately lead to disciplinary action against the perpetrator(s).
We will first investigate the complaint. You will need to co-operate with the investigation and provide the following details (if not already provided).
- The name of the alleged perpetrator(s);
- The nature of the harassment or bullying;
- The dates and times the harassment or bullying occurred;
- The names of any witnesses;
- Any action taken by you to resolve the matter informally.
The alleged perpetrator(s) would need to be told your name and the details of your complaint in order for the issue to be investigated properly. However, we will carry out the investigation as confidentially and sensitively as possible.
After the investigation, we will meet with you to consider the complaint and the findings of the investigation. At the meeting, you may be accompanied by a fellow member or friend.
After the meeting we will write to you to inform you of our decision and to notify you of your right to appeal if you are dissatisfied with the outcome. You should put your appeal in writing explaining the reasons why you are dissatisfied with our decision. You should submit your appeal within five working days of receiving written confirmation of our decision. If you submit an appeal, you will be invited to attend a meeting to consider it. Once again you may be accompanied by a fellow member or friend. We will write to you afterwards to confirm our final decision.
Use of the disciplinary procedure:-
Harassment and bullying constitute serious misconduct.
If, at any stage from the point at which a complaint is raised, we believe there is a case to answer and an offence of harassment or bullying might have been committed, we will instigate our disciplinary procedure.
Any member found to have harassed or bullied another member will be asked to leave the group.