Harassment/Bullying in the Workplace

r Download print version here


A staff member, who feels that s/he has been or is being harassed, should keep a detailed record of the times and dates of incidents of harassment, and request witnesses, if any, to note them too.

2. Every effort should be made to resolve the matter informally and confidentially through the intervention of the Director, Deputy Directors or other staff member, if such informal intervention is deemed appropriate.

3. If it is not possible to resolve the matter informally, for example because of the severity or continuation of the harassment. (Then a formal complaints procedure should be invoked  incorporating the following steps:

  • Staff members subjected to harassment should made a formal written complaint to the Director, Deputy Directors or the Chairperson, Board of Management, as appropriate.

  • Prior to the commencement of the formal investigation, the alleged harasser should be given a copy of the formal written complaint and advised that an investigation may ensue which may lead to disciplinary action.

  • A written report should be made by the complainant or an authorised person, to whom the complaint is made, and signed by the complainant.

  • The complaint must be investigated as quickly and as confidentially as possible and with due regard to the rights of both the complainant and the alleged harasser.

  • Both parties may be accompanied/represented at all interviews/meetings held and these must be recorded.

  • Where a complaint is found to be substantiated, the extent and nature of the harassment will determine the form of disciplinary action to be taken. Where a complaint is deemed to be false appropriate action may also be taken.  These actions may include a verbal warning, a written warning, and suspension from some duties with or without pay, suspension from full duties with or without pay or dismissal. In the case of suspension or dismissal, the Department of Education and Science should be informed of the proposed sanction in advance of implementation.  However, in cases where the complaint is deemed to be valid, it is vital that prompt action be taken by the Board of Management.

  • Where disciplinary action is taken, the harasser has the right to appeal against the decision in accordance with normal disciplinary procedures and the rules of natural justice.

  • Where a staff member is victimised as a result of invoking or participating in any aspect of the complaints procedure, including acting as a witness for another staff member, such behaviour is also subject to disciplinary action

  • No record of any complaint should be recorded on a staff member’s file unless the formal procedure has been invoked.

  • It is the responsibility of the Board of Management, and not the complainant, that complaints of harassment are investigated.

  • It is the responsibility of the Board of Management to ensure that all staff members are aware of the Code of Practice on harassment and of the complaints procedure described above.





Keep in touch