Respect at Work policy

1. Our Commitment

1.1 Our commitment is to create and maintain a working environment where employees can always be themselves at work.

1.2 A great place to work is a respectful and inclusive environment where employees can thrive. This means respecting differences, valuing opinions, welcoming diversity of thought and listening to others. Being mindful of how our behaviour can impact others, either intentionally or unintentionally, is key.

1.3  When working for or with NATS, everyone has a right to feel included and respected at work, regardless of who they are and whatever their background and experience.  Anyone should feel comfortable to speak up if they experience or witness behaviour which they find unacceptable or inappropriate.

1.4 This policy has been created to ensure we are all clear about the obligations we have around our behaviours at work, and demonstrates the company’s commitment to dealing with inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour seriously and as quickly as possible in a confidential, sensitive and balanced manner.  It also reflects our obligations under the law.

2. Scope

2.1 This policy applies to all NATS employees, contractors, agency staff and anyone else engaged to work at NATS, whether by direct contract or otherwise. It applies in the workplace and in any work-related setting outside the workplace, e.g. business trips and work-related social events.

2.2 This policy covers bullying and harassment and other behaviours that are not acceptable in a respectful work environment and are proscribed by law.

2.3 NATS is at risk of being liable for the actions of employees if those actions have been committed “in the course of their employment”, whether or not they occurred with the knowledge or approval of NATS. This also applies to work parties and other work-related social events. Employees can also be found personally liable for their actions.

3. Unacceptable or inappropriate behaviour

3.1 This policy covers bullying, harassment, and other forms of unacceptable or inappropriate behaviour.  In some situations these behaviours may be clearly and unambiguously displayed; it should also be noted that there can be instances where conduct may be considered unacceptable or inappropriate based on the impact on the recipient (and irrespective of whether the person behaving in that way intended to offend).

3.2 Bullying is any behaviour which is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting, and/or an abuse or misuse of power that has the impact to undermine, humiliate or injure the person on the receiving end.

3.3 Harassment is defined in law as unwanted conduct related to relevant protected characteristics, which are sex, gender reassignment, race (which includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief and age.  Harassment may constitute unlawful discrimination where it relates to one of these protected characteristics. Serious bullying or harassment may amount to other civil or criminal offences, e.g. a civil offence under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and criminal offences of assault.  Harassment is behaviour that:

  • has the purpose of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person; or
  • is reasonably considered by that person to have the effect of violating their dignity or of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them, even if this effect was not intended by the person responsible for the conduct.

3.4 Bullying and harassment have no place at NATS. All allegations will be investigated and where they are upheld, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken, which could include penalties up to and including summary dismissal.

3.5. Other unacceptable and inappropriate behaviour is conduct that may not necessarily constitute bullying or harassment, but is offensive or undermines people indirectly e.g. excessive swearing in a meeting where the language may not be directed at an individual but could undermine the ability to create a respectful and inclusive work environment. Examples of what may be considered inappropriate behaviour can be found in Appendix A.

3.6 People find different things acceptable. Conduct may be considered unacceptable or inappropriate whether or not the person behaving in that way intends to offend. Something intended as a joke may offend another person.  When assessing whether or not behaviour is unacceptable or inappropriate, the views of the individual(s) on the receiving end of the behaviour may also be considered, as to whether the behaviour is acceptable to them and/or shows respect for them.

3.7 Unacceptable and inappropriate behaviour have no place at NATS. All allegations will be investigated and where they are upheld, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken reflecting the seriousness of the behaviour.

4. Victimisation

4.1 Victimisation happens when an individual is treated unfairly or unfavourably because they have raised a complaint or are part of the process of raising a complaint.  Examples of this could include isolating or purposefully ignoring someone, or giving them a heavier or more difficult workload.

4.2 Provided that someone acts in good faith, i.e. they genuinely believe that what they are saying is true, they have a right not to be victimised for making a complaint or taking other relevant action in relation to a complaint of bullying or harassment.

4.3 Victimisation has no place at NATS. All allegations will be investigated and where they are upheld, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken, which could include penalties up to and including summary dismissal.

5. Roles and Responsibilities

5.1 all NATS employees, contractors, agency staff and anyone else engaged to work at NATS, whether by direct contract or otherwise, have a responsibility to maintain an environment that is respectful and inclusive by;

  • reading the policy and completing any training requested to ensure they understand what is and isn’t appropriate.
  • being aware of the impact of their own behaviour on others, and avoiding causing offence or misunderstanding
  • listening to and responding appropriately to colleagues to provide feedback about their behaviour, or making colleagues aware if they observe behaviour which may be causing offence
  • escalating a concern through appropriate channels if they don’t feel comfortable raising the issue directly with the individual concerned
  • seeking advice and support if needed, in regard to any behaviour which they have experienced personally or witnessed, which they believe may be inappropriate or unacceptable

 

6. Resolution Process and Independent Help

6.1 In some situations the individual affected may feel able to raise their concerns directly (either face to face or in writing) with the individual who displayed the behaviour they find unacceptable.

6.2 If an individual does not feel comfortable dealing with the situation directly, they can speak to their Line Manager/Contract Manager/point of contact at NATS. If the individual is in agreement, this could include someone else talking to the individual(s) on their behalf or arranging a meeting between the individuals concerned, to resolve the situation.

6.3 If the informal process is not appropriate, or the behaviour continues, then relevant company process should be followed.

6.4 If a complaint is made against a contractor or supplier the relevant contract manager will be advised and appropriate action/investigation taken.

6.5 However, if in exceptional situations, it doesn’t feel appropriate to use one of the above reporting routes described in this policy, or if a raised concern is not being addressed, then any employee, supplier, customer, partner or contractor is able to raise their concern through Safecall, an independent, anonymous whistleblowing service.

Contact Safecall on: 0800 915 1571

Or report online at: www.Safecall.co.uk/report

Or email: nats@safecall.co.uk

Appendix A

Examples of unacceptable and inappropriate behaviour

Examples of unacceptable and inappropriate behaviour that are covered by this policy include (but are not limited to):

  • physical conduct ranging from unwelcome touching to serious assault;
  • sexual advances;
  • shouting or swearing at someone;
  • excessive swearing in a meeting;
  • using power inappropriately to create fear or undermine someone;
  • persistent excessive, unfair or unjustified criticism;
  • the offer of rewards for going along with sexual advances, e.g. promotion, access to training;
  • threats for rejecting sexual advances, e.g. suggestions that refusing advances will adversely affect the individuals employment, pay, assigned work, or any other condition of employment or career development;
  • demeaning comments about a person’s appearance;
  • jokes or comments of a sexual or racial nature, or about an individual’s age, disability, sexual orientation, social background or religion;
  • Intrusive and/or persistent questions about a someone’s personal life when the individual signals this is unwanted
  • nicknames which the individual finds offensive or which in some way mocks or demeans them;
  • excluding an individual because he/she is associated or connected with someone with a protected characteristic, e.g. their child is gay or parent is disabled;
  • treating an individual differently because they have, or are perceived to have, a protected characteristic (even when they do not have the characteristic) e.g. an employee is thought to be Jewish;
  • the open display of pictures or objects with sexual or racial overtones, even if not directed at any particular person, e.g. magazines or calendars;
  • spreading malicious rumours or insulting someone;
  • picking on someone or setting them up to fail;
  • making threats or comments about someone’s job security without good reason;
  • ridiculing someone in a way which the individual finds offensive or which in some way mocks or demeans them;
  • isolation or non-cooperation at work;
  • repeatedly asking someone to socialise outside of work when it is not welcomed
  • not valuing/listening to an individual’s opinion because it is different to yours
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