Guidance for staff accused of bullying and harassment

What to do if you are accused of bullying and harassing behaviour.

If someone approaches you informally about your behaviour, the aim of the meeting is to resolve the issue swiftly, and to avoid formal action. Consider the following guidance to resolve concerns in a positive and constructive way:

  • Read the Dignity & Respect Policy in full and note your own obligations under the Policy.


  • Try to remain calm and listen carefully to the complaint and to the particular concerns expressed – remember that different people find different things acceptable and you may have unintentionally caused offence.


  • Try to agree on ways to deal with the situation productively, with the complainant, or with others who are discussing/raising the complaint with you.


  • Consider whether the complaint can be justified in any way and, if so, be ready to change your behaviour. The Staff Counselling Service or another of the sources of advice referred to in this section may be able to help you to change behaviours that have caused offence or distress.


  • Make sure that, if you are in a position to change your behaviour or conduct easily, you do not continue to demonstrate this behaviour simply because you do not agree with the other person’s assessment of the situation.


  • If you believe the accusation to be unfounded say so, but arrange to seek advice and support from a Dignity & Respect Advisor or your Trade Union representative as soon as possible. If a complaint is taken to the formal stage, your HR Advisor will be able to advise you on procedure.


  • You should observe confidentiality at all times and you can expect all other parties involved to do the same.


Related Links