Dignity at Work
The University of Kent is committed to fostering a positive working environment where all staff and students are treated fairly, with dignity, courtesy, respect and consideration.
We all have the responsibility to create an environment that is free from harassment and bullying, these standards of behaviour are set out within the following documents:
• Dignity at Work Policy and Process
• Dignity at work: Staff guide.
• Respect at Kent Policy (2017)
Equality and Diversity Principles
• We are committed to nurturing an inclusive and diverse community that is open and accessible to all.
• We do not tolerate discrimination, harassment or bullying of any groups, on the basis of any of the protected characteristics
• We respect the rights of individuals, including the right to hold different views and beliefs.
• We will not allow these differences to be manifested in a way that is hostile or degrading to others.
• We expect commitment and involvement from all our students, staff, partners and providers of goods or services in working towards the achievement of these principles.
Harassment – unwanted behaviour or conduct which is related to a legally protected characteristic, defined in the Equality Act (2010). It 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 may be against and individual by an individual or by a group of people. Whether it is deliberate or unintentional, the point is the individual feels it is unwelcome, unwanted and it is unreciprocated.
Advice and support can be sought from a variety of different sources (for a full list see Staff: Dignity at work procedure and Students Respect at Kent Policy) examples are:
• Line Manager/s
• Work Colleague
• TU/Staff rep
• Harassment Contact
• College Master
Cases of harassment are best dealt with promptly and locally. The University has a network of harassment contacts which are outside of reporting lines, who will treat all discussions as confidential.
A conversation with a harassment contact does not need to lead to further action.
The role of the contact is to:
• Offer a listening ear
• Offer independent support, guidance and advice as to whether the alleged behaviours falls within the dignity at work procedure
• Talk though the process for resolving the problem
• Refer the matter to another source of help if agreed.
Details on the current harassment contacts can be found on the intranet within the EDI pages
It has been recognised that there are multiple avenues where complaints may be submitted, and that these are not always easily tracked.
As a result of this, a new Harassment Reporting ‘InK’ (Inform Kent) Tool has been developed initially for students. This tool will allow all allegations to be logged and tracked (including anonymously if required) and will also allow for data monitoring to take place more effectively, allowing the University to identify any potential trends where further investigatory work may need to be carried out.
All staff are required to complete the Diversity and Inclusion in HE eLearning, as part of probation and on a 3 yearly refresher which outlines the Equality Act (2010) and the behaviours expected of all Staff.
All newly registered students at the University of Kent have to complete a compulsory e-Learning module called ‘Respect at Kent’ at point of registration, which outlines the behaviours and values that the University expects students to adhere by.