Workplace Guide: Bullying

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Ten Steps to Prevent the Bullying and Harassment
of LGB Employees

1. Know the law and ensure that your organisation is fully compliant. The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation)  regulations require employers to ensure that LGB employees are not discriminated against – this includes bullying and harassment. Guides designed for both large and small employers are available from Stonewall.

2. Provide definitions of anti-gay bullying and harassment in your policies and give examples of unacceptable behaviour. All employees need to know what will not be tolerated in the workplace, and what they should not have to put up with.

3. Ensure all staff are aware of their roles and responsibilities in maintaining an inclusive and welcoming workplace which does not tolerate discrimination against LGB colleagues.

4. Create inclusive policies and accessible procedures to deal with bullying and harassment. Make sure these cover anti-gay behaviour and are relevant to your LGB staff.

5. Remove the barriers that LGB staff can face when reporting bullying and harassment. If your existing procedures include counselling or mediation, consider the possibility of offering LGB staff the option of working with someone who has personal experience of LGB issues.

6. Consult key stakeholders such as your LGB network on how policy and procedures are developed, to ensure they are tailored and relevant to your workforce.

7. Ensure top level buy-in for anti-gay bullying and harassment initiatives. It is important that managers take responsibility for protecting their LGB staff from bullying and harassment, and do not encourage it in any way.

8. Provide training to staff on sexual orientation equality and the organisation’s policy on anti-gay bullying and harassment. Staff need to know how to comply with the policy, and how to access support if they need it.

9. Communicate the organisation’s position on anti-gay bullying and harassment to new and existing staff. Use posters, articles and intranet systems to remind all staff about their rights, responsibilities and the consequences of bullying and harassment – and the value of a working environment which prevents this kind of discrimination.

10. Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of anti-gay bullying and harassment procedures, and their take-up among LGB staff. Monitor the types of bullying and harassment reported and use anonymous staff surveys to gauge general experiences of, and attitudes towards, the problem.

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