Bullying and harassment
Bullying is any unwanted behaviour that makes someone feel intimidated, degraded, humiliated or offended. It is not necessarily always obvious or apparent to others, and may happen within the party without people in positions of leadership realising. Harassment is bullying that occurs because of a person’s gender reassignment, age, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation or because they are disabled. Under the Equality Act, harassment is unlawful and organisations have a duty to take action against it.
Bullying or harassment can occur between two individuals or it may involve groups of people. It might be obvious or very subtle. It may happen over a long period or be an isolated incident. Bullying and harassment don’t just happen face to face, they can also take place in written communications, by phone or through email.
Some examples of bullying and harassment include:
- Spreading malicious rumours, or insulting someone in words or behaviour
- Copying emails that are critical about someone to others who do not need to know
- Ridiculing or demeaning someone – picking on them or setting them up to fail
- Unwelcome sexual advances – touching, standing too close, display of offensive materials, asking for sexual favours, making decisions on the basis of sexual advances being accepted or rejected
- Preventing individuals progressing by intentionally blocking promotion or training opportunities