Harassment and Bullying Policy
You have the right to be treated with
dignity and respect
Stirling Council believes everyone working on behalf of the Council
is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. We all have a
responsibility for the way we treat each other.
Harassment or bullying can cause personal distress and damage confidence,
dignity and morale. The Council will not tolerate acts of harassment or
bullying by any employee against another employee, or by anyone you deal
with in the course of your job, including elected members.
Issues involving harassment from members of the public are also be taken
very seriously, and should be raised directly with your manager.
Our commitment to tackling harassment and bullying is set out in the Dignity
at Work policy. This shows you what to do if you are being harassed or
bullied at work.
Please refer to the policy and the procedure if you have a complaint you want
to raise. You can read the Dignity at Work policy on The Source (intranet), or
get a copy from your manager, your HR team or your trade union
What is harassment
Harassment is when an individual (s) is subjected to unwanted
behaviour that has the purpose or effect of violating their dignity or
creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive
Harassment can take many forms and can happen for many reasons.
It may be related to age, sex, race, national or ethnic origin, disability,
religion, sexuality or any personal characteristic. It may be directed
at one person or many people. It can be persistent behaviour over a
period of time, or a one-off act.
Behaviour only equals harassment when it is unwanted by the person
making the complaint. It is the unwanted nature of the conduct which
distinguishes harassment from friendly behaviour which is welcome
In cases of harassment, the perceptions of the person making the
complaint are very important. Behaviour which one person may see
as acceptable may be unacceptable to another person.
The fact that someone does not intend what he or she does or says
to amount to harassment will not prevent it from being harassment.
What may seem harmless to one person can be offensive to someone
What is Bullying
Bullying is inappropriate and unwelcome behaviour that causes
embarrassment, fear, humiliation or distress to someone, or to a group
of people. It may take many forms, including unwelcome physical,
verbal or non-verbal contact.
Bullying is usually a misuse of power - someone using their
status/position, physical strength or force of personality in a way which
is unwelcome to the victim, and normally where the victim has
difficulty in defending themselves. Often a pattern of bullying
Bullying is not about the normal exercising of managerial
responsibility, and it is not about occasional minor lapses of good
manners, courtesy or respect, unless a pattern of behaviour emerges
that becomes objectionable or intimidating. In this case the behaviour
may be bullying.
The bullying behaviour may be carried out deliberately, or it may be
unconscious. What matters is that it causes humiliation, offence and
distress to the victim.
What type of behaviour is ‘bullying’
personal insults (humiliation, personal criticism, making fun of
intimidation (threats of physical violence, psychological
intimidation, or misuse of power or position)
social exclusion (being ‘left out’, isolation or victimisation).
What should I do if I am being harassed or bullied at
Tell someone! Whether you are telling the person who is doing the
harassing and bullying or someone in authority in the Council, you are
taking the first important step in making the behaviour stop!
You can tell:
your line manager, or another manager in your team
a manager outwith your team or Service, as you feel appropriate
your trade union representative
your Human Resources Adviser
Is there a procedure which I should use to raise my
Yes. The Council has a Dignity at Work policy which gives useful
information and sets out how to raise a concern about harassment or
bullying. Depending on the nature and the severity of your complaint,
you may chose to take action yourself, or to raise the complaint
informally or formally. You can also refer to the Code of Conduct,
which highlights your rights and responsibilities about how you are
What support is available
Problems involving harassment and bullying can be distressing and
difficult for both the person making the complaint and the person
being complained about. Support, guidance and counselling is
available to everyone involved.
You can use the Code of Conduct Advisers, who are part of a
network of trained employees who give independent support and
advice about harassment or bullying to all employees on a voluntary
The Council also has an Employee Counselling Service where advice
and support can be given to both the person making the complaint
and the person being complained about. You can contact the
Employee Counselling Service on 0800 389 7851.
You have the right to be treated
with dignity and respect.
Don’t tolerate harassment
Other useful contacts
Central Scotland Racial Equality
Rooms 8 and 9
Park Street Annex
Tel: 01324 610950
Fax: 01324 610955
Commission for Racial Equality
12, Jackson’s Entry off Holyrood Road
Tel: 0131 524 2000
Fax: 0131 524 2001
Equal Opportunities Commission
St. Stephen House
279 Bath Street
Tel: 0845 6015901
Fax: 0141 248 5834
Tel: 0845 7622633
(helpline for all enquiries)
Fax: 0845 7778878
Textphone: 0845 7622644
Scottish Human Rights Centre
146 Holland Street
Tel: 0141 332 5960
Fax; 0141 332 5309
Equality Network (Lesbian, Gay,
Transsexual and Transgender)
30 Bernard Street
Tel: 07020 933952
Fax: 07020 933954
Disability Rights Commission
502 Gorgie Road