Case Study - Employee Policy

Strong and robust policies are necessary to underpin an effective approach to tackling workplace discrimination. From ensuring equal access to benefits for same-sex partners to communicating zero tolerance of bullying, employee policy is the foundation of
a working environment that respects all individuals.

A robust commitment to fostering a workplace culture where all employees are treated with dignity and respect is clearly evident from Bury council’s policy on bullying and
harassment, Dignity at Work. The policy thoroughly details the rights and responsibilities of every staff member and provides a clear and comprehensive definition of what constitutes bullying and harassment in relation to each protected
characteristic.

By providing examples that specifically deal with harassment based on sexual orientation, the council leaves no room for ambiguity. This is reinforced using a range of communication channels – posters, leaflets and emails – that ensure every staff member is aware of the council’s zero-tolerance policy on sexual orientation related bullying and harassment.

Complementing their exceptional policy, the council actively monitors complaints and has several alternative reporting channels. These include the LGB staff network group and First Contact Officers who are appointed in every department and trained to provide confidential advice and support to their peers. Often drawn from the LGB staff network group, First Contact Officers are approachable and provide a valuable avenue for staff looking for advice or a more informal reporting route. Data gathered through monitoring reporting exercises is analysed every quarter and fed back to shape
training. This feedback mechanism has allowed the Council to provide tailored and targeted training that includes specific case studies on LGB related bullying and harassment.