During your initial meeting you might want to cover:
Role, Expectations and Boundaries of the Dignity Contact
To provide confidential support to individuals who may be experiencing difficulties relating to harassment and/or bullying. The aim of the role is to facilitate informal resolution in cases of harassment or bullying where possible.
Dignity Contacts Can:
- Ensure a confidential environment to discuss issues in relation to the Dignity at Warwick Policy.
- Listen to you without making any judgements about what you say.
- Listen to your concerns.
- Explain the informal and formal procedures under the Dignity at Warwick Policy.
- Help you to explore the various options available to you.
- Help you to explore other sources of support which may be available to you
Dignity Contacts Cannot:
- Offer advice or solutions on what you should do.
- Act as your advocate.
- Make decisions on whether bullying or harassment has taken place.
- Maintain confidentiality if they believe that there is a risk of harm to you or others.
Advise that the meeting is confidential unless something is disclosed/discussed that is life threatening or illegal as outlined in the policy or if you believe that there is a risk of harm to the member of staff or others.
The Case Report form will be completed after the meeting and will be shared with and held securely by the Report and Support Team.
Dignity at Warwick Policy
Ask if they are aware of the Policy and take a copy with you.
Ask Questions and Listen
- Why has the member of staff asked to meet with you?
- Is the concern associated with a protected characteristic?
- What form did the bullying/harassment take?
- What relationship is the perpetrator to the reporter?
- Is this complaint/issue new, on-going or previously resolved?
- When did the incident start?
- What do they want to gain from the meeting?
- Ask open ended questions – do not lead the conversation
- Be aware of tone and body language
- Encourage reflection
In the first instance, staff are encouraged to seek to resolve the matter where appropriate. They may wish to do the following:
- Talk to the person concerned and advise how their behaviour is making them feel
- Write a letter explaining that their behaviour is offensive and how it is impacting on them. The content of the letter should be considered carefully.
- Seek support or advice from a friend, work colleague or trade union representative
- Contact Wellbeing Support Service or the Employee Assistance Programme
- Speak to their Line Manager to discuss the issue and try to resolve or speak to the other persons line manager
- Speak to HR Advisor
- Nothing – answer questions, signpost
- Preparation – list questions for meetings with any of the above, log behaviour/incidents and the impact this has had on them, use the Dignity at Warwick Complaint Log to aide conversation and document concerns.
- Formal complaint via HR – the HR Grievance Policy and Procedure webpage has useful information, forms and documents for staff to use
- Log behaviour/incidents - record times, dates, what happened, and who was involved, use the Dignity at Warwick Complaint Log to support this.
- Refer to section 6 of the Dignity at Warwick Policy - 'Complaints Involving Staff and Students'.
An overview of both informal and formal options can be found in the Bullying and Harassment Processes document
- Dignity at Warwick Complaint Log
- Dignity at Warwick Informal and Formal Options
- Am I Being Bullied?
- Dignity Contact Role and Responsibilities
- Dignity at Warwick Policy
- Report and Support
- Staff Wellbeing Hub
- Employee Assistance Programme
- The Chaplaincy
- Occupational Health
- Equality Act
- Staff Networks
- ED&I Network
Agree the next steps
- At the end of the meeting complete the Case Report Form – debrief with SLO
- Ensure that you do not take their problems on board
- If you feel ‘out of your depth’ always seek guidance and/or advice, contact an SLO at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Arrange a further meeting if required or agree a monitoring point in x amount of weeks