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Bullying in the Workplace

Ansan has had, for years now, a policy against Bullying in the Workplace. It has been in our Employee Handbook and Health and Safety Manual for several years. A restatement of this policy has been undertaken in 2014. The policy statement in its present form makes abundantly clear the Company’s position:

1. Workplace Conduct

Bullying and harassment is not acceptable or tolerated in the workplace. All workers will be treated in a fair and respectful manner.

2. Bullying and Harassment

a) includes any inappropriate conduct or comment by a person towards a worker that the person knew or ought to have known would cause that worker to be humiliated or intimidated, but

b) excludes any reasonable action by an employer or supervisor relating to the management and direction of workers or the place of employement.

Examples of conduct or comments that might constitute bullying and harassment include verbal aggression or insults, calling someone derogatory names, harmful hazing or initiation practices, vandalizing personal belongings and spreading malicious rumours.

3. Workers Must:

a) not engage in bullying and harassment of other workers;

b) report if bullying and harassment is observed or experienced;

c) apply and comply with the employer’s policies and procedures on bullying and harassment.

4. Application

This policy statement applies to all workers, including permanent, temporary, casual, contract and student workers. It applies to interpersonal and electronic communications, such as e-mail.

5. Annual Review

The policy statement will be reviewed every year. All workers are to be provided a copy of this policy and subsequent updates or amendments.

 

Statements of Policy are all well and good but not much use without some way for employees to access the protection promised in the policy. There also needs to be some sensitivity training to raise awareness of the damge that can be done by this type of conduct and how to redress it. Ansan has created a Complaint Procedure Policy, and Investigation Policy and a training program to increase awareness amongst our staff of the problems that arise when bullying occurs or is allowed to exist without censure. When we detect such conduct we find it is often being done without an actual realization on the part of the perpetrator as to the nature of their conduct. As part of the treatment of the problem employees are required to complete this course.

Complaint Cover 600 231x300 Bullying in the Workplace A Policy Statement to be meaningful must have a method for people to seek redress under the Policy. For this Ansan has created a procedure for lodging a Bullying or Harassment complaint. This includes a form for the Complainant to fill out but in reality, complaints can be verbal and the intake officer will fill out such a form.
Investigation Cover 600 231x300 Bullying in the Workplace Once a Complaint has been lodged with the Company a discrete and thoughtful investigation must follow to ensure the protection of the complainant and affording the other party every opportunity to explain and defend their actions. Great tack and understanding is required in these situations.
Training Cover 600 231x300 Bullying in the Workplace And for this Policy to be effective, there must be a training program to increase awareness of the harm done by Bullying and Harrasment and to ensure that everyone knows how to access the protections offered by the Policy.
Work PLace Bullying Handbook Cover Small Bullying in the Workplace WorkSafeBC has produced a handbook on Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace which contains information and instructions with respect to such conduct when it is discovered. If you are interested in the topic, this is a valuable reference source.