One of the policies and procedures a new home care business must have is the Bullying and Harassment Policy and Procedure.
Below is the Bullying and Harassment Policy and Procedure used by Quality Home Care which you are welcome to adapt to suit your own business needs. You can use it as a starting point to develop your own Bullying and Harassment Policy and Procedure.
QUALITY HOME CARE:
Bullying and Harassment
Quality Home care will not tolerate bullying and/or harassment of any kind in the workplace. All staff have a right to expect to be able to work without being singled out for unfair treatment by a colleague or a member of the public which could cause distress or humiliation.
Any member of staff reporting concerns around bullying or harassment may do so without fear of repercussions or suffering detriment for raising such concerns. Anyone who observes bullying and/or harassment has a duty to report it to the management team (or others) as appropriate. Staff are encouraged to use our whistle blowing policy.
Employers have a ‘duty of care’ under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees. It is well documented that people who are victims of bullying and/or harassment can suffer from ill-health and stress and in extreme cases commit suicide. Employers who do not recognise and deal with this problem can pay a high price through lost time, low staff morale, poor quality service and lost resources.
A definition of workplace bullying by Amicus-MSF trade union is: “Persistent, offensive, abusive, intimidating or insulting behaviour, abuse of power or unfair penal sanctions which makes the recipient feel upset, threatened, humiliated or vulnerable, which undermines their self-confidence and which may cause them to suffer stress”
There are various types of bullying, but most have three things in common in that it is deliberately hurtful behaviour, is repeated over time and involves an imbalance of power, which makes it hard for those being bullied to defend themselves.
Bullying behaviour can include being constantly picked on or shouted at; humiliated in front of colleagues; regularly unfairly treated and/or blamed for problems caused by others. Bullying can include actions which are face-to-face, in writing, over the phone or by email.
Bullying may take various forms, including:
- Verbal/Psychological e.g. threats, taunts, shunning/ostracism,
- Racist Bullying – e.g. physical, verbal, written, or ridicule based on differences of race, colour, ethnicity, nationality, culture or language
- Faith-based Bullying – e.g. negative stereotyping, name-calling or ridiculing based on religion
- Sexist Bullying – e.g. use of sexist language or negative stereotyping based on gender
- Sexual Bullying – e.g. unwanted/inappropriate physical contact or sexual innuendo
- Homophobic Bullying – e.g. name-calling, innuendo or negative stereotyping based on sexual orientation or use of homophobic language
- Disability Bullying – e.g. name-calling, innuendo, negative stereotyping or excluding from activity based on disability or learning difficulties
- Cyber Bullying – e.g. abuse on-line or via text message
Harassment is defined as ‘any unwanted or uninvited behaviour which is offensive, embarrassing, intimidating or humiliating’.
It is against the law for a person to be harassed because of their sex; pregnancy; race (including colour, nationality, descent, ethnic or religious background;) marital status; disability; homosexuality; age; transgender or for their relationship to or association with a person of a particular sex, race marital status etc. Harassment is a form of discrimination and as such is subject to laws relating to equality matters.
Sexual harassment is not necessarily the traditional stereotype of a male sexually harassing a female. The company does not tolerate sexual harassment and anyone partaking in such activity will be subject to disciplinary action which may lead to dismissal.
Bullying and Harassment Procedure
If any member of staff feels they are being bullied or harassed in any way they should keep a list of what is happening to them, when it is happening and who is involved. Members of staff who feel they are victims of such behaviour should in the first instance:
- Report this to the care manager or the director of the company who will investigate the situation, either formally or informally.
- If the situation does not resolve then the complainant should put their concerns formally in writing to the manager or director.
- The manager or director will arrange a meeting with the individual within 3 working days.
- The manager or director may consider/discuss with the individual involving an independent/third person where required and/or appropriate.
- The person whom the complaint is about should be advised that the manager has received a written complaint and a meeting arranged with this individual within 5 working days.
- The manager or director will then be responsible for investigating the facts and keeping accurate written reports and minutes of formal meetings.
- An investigation of the matter must be completed by the manager or director within 20 days of receipt of the complaint.
- Where the individual is not satisfied with the outcome they may raise their concerns in writing to the manager or director who will review the matter within 14 days and confirm the outcome in writing.
- Should the complainant still not be satisfied with the outcome they may contact the CQC (Care Quality Commission) and report their concerns as well as seeking legal representation and advice.
Any instances of proven bullying or harassment behaviour will not be tolerated and will be viewed by the company as gross misconduct and the disciplinary procedures will be instigated as required and appropriate.
The company recognises that those matters considered as unlawful acts under anti-discrimination laws will require to be dealt with through relevant legal channels in line with legislation applicable to each situation in question.
It is usual practice that Quality Homecare where necessary seeks professional and/or legal advice regarding matters in order to ensure appropriate conduct in response to matters or incidents of bullying or harassment.
Related Policies: Code of Practice
Equality and Diversity
Violence and Aggression