SMMSN Zero Tolerance Promise

SMMSN Zero Tolerance Promise

Bullying, Harassment, and Discrimination

Everyone who works and studies in the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition (SMMSN) will be treated with dignity and respect, and we encourage all members of our community to think about their interactions with others from this perspective. Inappropriate interpersonal behaviour, which includes bullying, harassment, and discrimination, can have a serious detrimental effect on the health, confidence, morale, and performance of those affected by it, and also on the working, learning and home environments. We have a shared responsibility to create and maintain a work and study environment with a culture where bullying, harassment and discrimination is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. This includes the ability of staff and students to challenge, where appropriate, or report any instances of unacceptable behaviour without fear of detriment or reprisal.

It can help to briefly think about the definitions of inappropriate behaviours.

Bullying occurs when a person engages in offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour which intentionally or unintentionally undermines, humiliates, denigrates or injures the recipient of the behaviour.

Harassment is defined by the Equality Act 2010 as “Unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.”  It can be directed at an individual or a group of people.

Discrimination is the unfair or prejudicial treatment of someone, because they have, or are perceived to have, protected characteristics as defined by, but not limited to, the Equality Act 2010. Discrimination can be direct or indirect.

The SMMSN Senior Leadership Team and EDI Committee makes a zero-tolerance promise to deal with all reported instances of bullying, harassment, and discrimination within the Institute.  In implementing this promise, we aim to:

  1. encourage staff and students who have experienced or witnessed harassment, bullying and/or discrimination within SMMSN to come forward and report the inappropriate behaviour,
  2. make it clear that any form of bullying, harassment and/or discrimination of others is unacceptable, and
  3. ensure that reports of unacceptable behaviour are taken seriously and treated with sensitivity.  Issues will be responded to promptly and sensitively, and following thorough investigation, any appropriate action will be taken.

Through this promise we aim to stop bullying, harassment, and discrimination within SMMSN and to promote a healthier work and studying culture, where poor behaviour is less likely to occur.

If you are a member of staff and have experienced bullying, harassment, or discrimination we encourage you to talk to your line manager, if you feel comfortable so doing.  Alternatively, you can speak to the next level of management if this is more appropriate.

If you are a student and have experienced bullying, harassment, or discrimination, we encourage you to talk to your personal tutor or a student support advisor.  

The University also has a confidential Online Reporting Tool, for staff and students, which can be used to report these type of incidents.

The School recognises harassment as distinct from rigorous academic debate, which is characterised as being respectful, encouraging a variety of viewpoints, and having the effect of stimulating and encouraging thought and discussion.  Whilst staff and students will clearly hold a range of views on a variety of issues, they are expected to treat all members of the University community with dignity and respect, and ensure that the expression of their views is not manifested in such a way that creates an environment that is intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive to others.