What is Bullying & Harassment?
Bullying and harassment are contrary to the Equality Act 2010 , the Student Dignity and Respect Policy and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy .
Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour involving the misuse of power that can make a person feel vulnerable, upset, humiliated, undermined or threatened. Power does not always mean being in a position of authority, but can include both personal strength and the power to coerce through fear or intimidation.
Bullying can take the form of physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct. Non-verbal conduct includes postings on social media outlets. Bullying may include, by way of example:
- shouting at, being sarcastic towards, ridiculing or demeaning others
- physical or psychological threats
- overbearing and intimidating levels of supervision
- inappropriate and/or derogatory remarks about someone's performance
- abuse of authority or power by those in positions of seniority
- deliberately excluding someone from meetings or communications without good reason.
Legitimate, reasonable and constructive criticism of performance or behaviour, or reasonable instructions given to staff in the course of their employment, will not amount to bullying on their own.
Harassment is unwanted physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct which may (intentionally or unintentionally) violate a person’s dignity or create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment, which interferes with an individual’s learning, working or social environment. It also includes treating someone less favourably because they have submitted or refused to submit to such behaviour in the past.
Unlawful harassment may involve sexual harassment or be related to a protected characteristic such as age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, gender or sexual orientation. At the University of Central Lancashire we believe harassment is unacceptable even if it does not fall within any of these categories. Click on the link to find out more about sexual harassment.
Some forms of harassment are considered a Hate Crime. A hate incident or crime is any act of violence or hostility against a person or property that is motivated by hostility or prejudice towards a person due to a particular protected characteristic. Find out more on hate crime/hate incidents here.
Harassment may include, for example:
- unwanted physical conduct or ‘horseplay’, including touching, pinching, pushing, grabbing, brushing past someone, invading their personal space and more serious forms of physical or sexual assault
- offensive or intimidating comments or gestures, or insensitive jokes or pranks
- mocking, mimicking or belittling a person’s disability
- racist, sexist, homophobic or ageist jokes, or derogatory or stereotypical remarks about a particular ethnic or religious group or gender
- outing or threatening to out someone as gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans
- ignoring or shunning someone, for example, by deliberately excluding them from a conversation or a social activity.
A person may be harassed even if they were not the intended "target". For example, a person may be harassed by racist jokes about a different ethnic group if they create an offensive environment.
I have been affected by bullying and harassment- what can I do?
- To a friend. Talking things through with someone you trust can sometimes help.
- To a Wellbeing Advisor In addition to providing wellbeing support for a range of issues that affect students, a Wellbeing advisor can talk through how to make a complaint and what support is available, in confidence.
- To The People Team who can provide advice, guidance and signposting for staff.
- The UCLan Students' Union Advice and Representation Centre is a free, confidential, impartial service where an advisor can talk through the procedure, how to complain, what options are available and support you through the process. This support includes checking draft complaints and attending any meetings with the University. The Advice and Representation Centre is also a third party Hate Crime reporting centre.
- The Advice and Resolution Centre offers an alternative dispute resolution approach; it is confidential and can help resolve a disagreement or conflict, with a colleague in the work place or a fellow student. It has been set up by students for students and offers mediation which is a tool used to deal with conflict and disagreements. The session is facilitated by an impartial mediator who will help the parties to resolve the conflict. All parties have to be willing to take part and can leave the process at any time.
- Report and Support Students and staff can report an incident using the University’s Report and Support system. You can choose to do this anonymously or you can request support from an advisor. If you choose to talk to an advisor they will be able to talk through the options and support available to you, in confidence.
- University Procedure If you choose to make a formal complaint to the University about a student or member of staff there are procedures which set out the steps you'll need to follow.
Where can I get support?
If you think you or someone you know has been bullied or harassed there is a variety of support options available to both students and staff.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is an organisation that welcomes and celebrates diversity, a commitment reflected in the shared values of those who work and study with us. Our vision is to strengthen our culture of equality, diversity and inclusion for our diverse University community, where everyone can feel safe, valued and supported.
Download the UCLan SafeZone app to access a range of safety support and information such as raising an emergency alert, calling for help and setting a check in timer which alerts security if you do not reach your destination in a set amount of time. Please read the link for more information and to download.
- Your School. If you are a student, you can talk to your academic adviser who will advise on how you can be referred to the Counselling, Mental Health and Wellbeing team.
- Student Support is the student information and support centre who provide all students with a high quality service. If your query is more specialist, they will help you as much as they can before referring you directly to the team who can provide further support. Find them on the ground floor of the Student Centre.
- Student Wellbeing Service can help students experiencing a range of difficulties that are affecting their wellbeing. They offer a confidential, professional service, ensuring that students receive personal support, recognising people as individuals, all with different needs.
- UCLan Students' Union Advice and Representation Centre This is a free, confidential, impartial service where students can get advice and information on academic and personal issues, including advice on procedures and representation at hearings. The Advice and Representation Centre is also a hate crime reporting centre
- The Inclusive Support Service The University’s dedicated Inclusive Support Advisors can provide advice, guidance, and support to staff and students about a range of practical adjustments to your work or studies.
- Residences Team If you are a student in Halls, all of the residences have a team of Residence Officers and Assistant Residences Officer. The team can provide you with assistance and support to make your time with us an enjoyable one.
- Mitigating Circumstances If you feel your studies have been affected by what has happened you can consider applying for mitigating circumstances.
Bullying and harassment are contrary to the Dignity at Work procedure. You might like to have a read of this to discover more about the procedure including some formal and informal actions that you can take.
- The People Team Contacts. If you are a member of staff your HR Manager will be able to identify the support that’s available for you.
- Trade Unions. There are three trade unions that represent staff at the University: Unison, Unite and UCU.
- Staff Network Groups. The University has a number of staff network groups which you can view on the staff Intranet through clicking the link. These groups provide a forum for staff to discuss issues of mutual interest and the ability to raise issues in a safe environment. They can help new staff settle in, provide networking opportunities across departments and also increase staff knowledge of the University's activities.
- Counselling. It’s important that you take care of yourself. The Staff Counselling Service offers a confidential, accessible counselling service to all its employees, in line with the University's mission statement and policies. If you are a member of staff, you can email the Staff Counselling service or call 01772 892329 to request an appointment.
Other sources of support
- Citizens Advice provides some information on bullying and harassment
- Young Minds has put together a blog on how to deal with bullying.
- Lancashire LGBT is proud to support a number of groups and activities across Lancashire that provide a diverse range of opportunities for LGBTQ+ people.