We believe that bullying and harassment are never okay.

Bullying:   Bullying is unacceptable and unwanted behaviour, usually repeated over time that causes a person to feel offended, intimidated, fearful or humiliated and which involves real or perceived misuse of power or power imbalance. Power imbalances could be social or group power, power due to role, physical strength, or access to embarrassing information.  Power can include coercion through fear or intimidation. 

Harassment:  Harassment is when someone engages in unwanted conduct, which intentionally or unintentionally violates a person’s dignity or creates a hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. 

Discrimination has no place at The Open University.  Our staff have the right to work and our students the right to study in an environment that is free from bullying and harassment, which gives them the dignity and respect to which they are entitled. 

Bullying and harassment are contrary to the Equality Act 2010 and the University staff and student Dignity and Respect Policy and staff Bullying and Harassment Policy.

What can you do?

Talk - If someone you know has been affected, you can encourage them to seek support. Alternatively, you can make an anonymous disclosure, which will allow us to investigate if there are multiple instances in one area. Or you or the person can make a report with contact details so the University can take necessary action, in confidence.

Listen -  Just taking the time to listen to someone and talk about what has happened can help. 

Find out more:
Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) provides further information on unlawful harassment

Seek Support - There are a number of  organisations that provide support, including counselling for those affected by harassment. You could encourage your colleague to reach out to such support. 

Mental Health and Wellbeing



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