Our Policies

FDCW's Antibullying & Harasment Policy

FDCW is committed to a workplace which is free from harassment and bullying, and to ensuring that all employees, contractors, volunteers and stakeholders are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, transgender status, marital or family status, colour, race, nationality, geographical location, ethnic or national origins, creed, culture, socio-economic status, religion or belief, age or disability.

This policy is intended to support this commitment in practice and to provide guidance to employees, contractors and volunteers on how to deal with concerns of bullying or harassment.

Definitions of Bullying and Harassment

Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through undermining, humiliating, denigrating or injuring the recipient.

Harassment is unwanted conduct affecting dignity where actions or comments are viewed as demeaning and unacceptable to the recipient. It may be related to age, gender, race, disability, religion, belief, sexuality, nationality or any personal characteristic, and may be persistent or an isolated incident.

Bullying or harassment may be by an individual against an individual or involve groups of people. It may be obvious or insidious. It may be face to face or in written communications, email, social media or phone. Whatever form it takes, it is unwarranted and unwelcome to the individual. It may take place in private or in public. Examples of bullying or harassing behaviour include:

  • spreading malicious rumours, or insulting someone by word or behaviour (particularly on the grounds of race, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief)
  • copying memos 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
  • exclusion, victimisation or unfair treatment
  • overbearing supervision or other misuse of power or position
  • unwelcome sexual advances – touching, standing too close, the display of offensive materials
  • making threats or comments about job security without foundation
  • deliberately undermining a competent worker by overloading and constant criticism
  • preventing individuals progressing by intentionally blocking promotion or training opportunities

A worker is bullied at work if:

  • a person or group of people repeatedly act unreasonably towards them or a group of workers
  • the behaviour creates a risk to health and safety

Whether a behaviour is unreasonable depends on whether a reasonable person might see the behaviour as unreasonable in the circumstances. The key element is the “repeated” act. Legitimate, constructive and fair criticism of an employee’s performance or behaviour at work is not bullying. Bullying does not include appropriate discussion of an employee’s behaviour during proper performance management procedures.


  • FDCW is an anti-bullying organisation and will not tolerate bullying or harassment at work or at work-related activities. FDCW will take appropriate action if an employee, contractor, volunteer or stakeholder says that they are being bullied or harassed
  • Allegations of bullying and harassment will be treated seriously. Investigations will be carried out promptly, sensitively and confidentially. If, after an investigation, FDCW decides that an employee, contractor or volunteer has harassed or bullied another employee, contractor, volunteer or client, then the employee may be subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal and reporting to the police
  • If employees, contractors or volunteers complain they are being bullied or harassed, they have a grievance which must be dealt with regardless of whether or not their complaint accords with a standard definition. See the FDCW Grievance Policy and Safeguarding Policy
  • FDCW recognises that conduct which one person may find acceptable, another may find unacceptable. All employees, contractors and volunteers must therefore treat their colleagues with respect and appropriate sensitivity and in line with FDCW core values
  • FDCW will not tolerate retaliation against, or victimisation of, anyone involved in bringing a complaint of harassment or bullying. Retaliation or victimisation by employees or contractors constitutes a disciplinary offence, which may lead to dismissal and in some circumstances the treatment may amount to a crime punishable by a fine or imprisonment
  • Employees, contractors and others who make allegations of bullying or harassment in good faith will not be treated less favourably as a result. False accusations of harassment or bullying can have a serious effect on innocent individuals. Employees, contractors and volunteers have a responsibility not to make false allegations. False allegations made in bad faith will be dealt with under our disciplinary procedure