Council Tackle Bullying in the Workplace

The town hall has launched guidelines to help staff understand what is considered to be bullying or harassment in the workplace.

The guidelines cover what would be deemed offensive or inappropriate behaviour towards employees based on their gender, sexual orientation or state of disability, pregancy or trade union membership.

They flag up unnecessary touching, patting, pinching, brushing up against another person’s body or invasion of another person’s body space.

Unwelcome sexual advances, propositions and pressure for sexual activity, suggestive remarks, innuendoes or lewd comments are not to be tolerated.

And staff shouldn’t make jokes of a sexual nature or offer unwanted comments on dress or appearance.

The policy states that  an occasional raised voice or argument does not constitute bullying.

Cllr Fred Ticehurst was unhappy that a physical booklet was not being produced but instead information would be provided on the Council’s internal Internet. He was told that the information changes regularly and it would be more efficient to provide guidance digitally.

Cllr Richard McCarthy wasn’t pleased that the policy offered details of advice on what could be considered stress. He felt it could encourage people to claim they were suffering.