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Dealing with 'Disrespectful behaviour’

The DAW policy sets out courses of action open to members of staff who experience behaviour from another member of staff that displays a basic lack of respect. The term ‘disrespectful behaviour’, is defined as:
Rude or discourteous behaviour that causes the receiver to feel belittled or insulted or to have their reputation damaged. If left unchecked it creates an uncomfortable or even hostile work environment and could develop into bullying and harassment.

Examples include:

  • Use of demeaning or offensive language,
  • shouting,
  • openly disregarding other’s views,
  • frequent interrupting,
  • being deceptive or manipulative,
  • gossiping behind another’s back (including online),
  • being disruptive
  • excluding a colleague from conversations in a pointed manner
  • or not making a full contribution in the workplace to the detriment of colleagues.

Dealing with bullying, harassment and victimisation definitions

Bullying is an escalating process of offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour aimed at an individual, which occurs repeatedly and regularly (e.g. weekly) over a period of time (e.g. six months). It often involves an abuse of power and authority and makes the victim feel upset, threatened or humiliated. Bullying tends to have the effect of undermining self-confidence and can make people feel vulnerable and stressed. Bullying has no legal definition, whereas harassment does.

Harassment describes unwanted conduct affecting the dignity of people in the workplace, i.e. acts which are unacceptable and demeaning to the victim. Harassment may be related to age, sex, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, marriage/civil partnership, maternity/pregnancy status or any personal characteristic of the individual. Harassment may be persistent or an isolated incident.

The legal definition of harassment in the Equality Act 2010 refers to ‘…unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile,degrading,humiliating or offensive environment for that individual’.

Victimisation is punishing or treating an individual unfairly, for example, because they have either made a complaint, intend to make a complaint or are believed to have made a complaint. The National NHS policy on Equality, Diversity and Human Rights defines victimisation as detriment suffered by a member of staff as a result of issues or allegations they have raised in good faith, or because they have participated in an associated process, for example as a witness.

Last Updated: 21 August 2017