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Dignity at Work Policy

at Waltons New School of Music

The New School is fully committed to providing a safe environment for staff and students, both within the school and in the context of our Outreach Programme and Music at Work Programme. School faculty, outreach faculty and administrative staff should, at all times, show respect and understanding for the rights, safety and welfare of others and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles of the school.

The aim of our Dignity at Work Policy is to promote best practice and set out a procedural framework to ensure that members of staff and students are equipped to make informed responses to specific issues. In implementing its policy, we follow the definitions of bullying, harassment and sexual harassment as set out in these codes of practice:

Following are the New School’s procedures covering:

  • Workplace Bullying
  • Harassment
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Procedures for Dealing with Allegations

Workplace Bullying

Workplace bullying is repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity at work.

An isolated incident of the behaviour described in this definition may be an affront to dignity at work, but as a once-off incident it is not considered to be bullying. A key characteristic of bullying is that it usually takes place over a period of time. It is regular and persistent inappropriate behaviour which is specifically targeted at an individual or group.

Harassment

Harassment (other than sexual harassment) is any form of unwanted conduct related to any of the nine discriminatory grounds covered by the Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2008. These grounds are:

  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Family status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Membership of the traveller community

Harassment is defined in the Act as any form of unwanted conduct related to any of these discriminatory grounds which has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person.

The unwanted conduct may include acts, requests, spoken words, gestures or the production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other material.

Harassment is inappropriate behaviour based on the relevant characteristic of the employee such as race, religion, age or any of the other grounds covered by the Act. Inappropriate behaviour that is not linked to one of the nine discriminatory grounds is not covered by this definition.

Harassment may be targeted at an individual or group, and it may consist of a single incident or repeated inappropriate behaviour.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person.

The unwanted conduct may include acts, requests, spoken words, gestures or the production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other material.

Sexual harassment may consist of a single incident or repeated inappropriate behaviour. It may be targeted at one individual or a group.

Procedures for Dealing with Allegations

Making a Complaint

Any individual who feels that she/he is being subjected to behaviour that undermines her/his dignity should let her/his objections be known; otherwise the person engaging in the unwelcome behaviour may be unaware of the effects of her/his actions. The individual may either approach the alleged perpetrator directly and make the person aware that the behaviour in question is unwelcome or request the school director or administration to speak with the person on her/his behalf. Sometimes the alleged perpetrator is genuinely unaware that her/his behaviour is unwelcome and causing distress. An informal discussion is often sufficient to alert the person concerned to the effects of her/his behaviour and can lead to greater understanding and an agreement that the behaviour will stop.

Before deciding what course of action, if any, to take, the individual may wish to discuss the matter on a confidential basis with the school’s Dignity at Work Officer, Sarah Walsh.

Dignity at Work Officer

The Dignity at Work Officer’s role is to listen, be supportive and outline the options open to the individual. The Dignity at Work Officer will explain the definitions of bullying and harassment in order to assist the individual in making an informed choice about what action, if any, she/he may wish to take. The Dignity at Work Officer cannot act as an advocate or representative for the individual and may not approach the alleged perpetrator on her/his behalf.

If, having consulted with the Dignity at Work Officer or other appropriate person, the individual decides to pursue the matter, she/he may approach the alleged perpetrator directly or request the intervention of the school director or administration.

Dignity at Work Policy
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