Harassment and Bullying Policy

General principles

  1. The organisation is committed to maintaining a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all members of the Sporting Communities community are respected. This includes staff, volunteers, and service users.
  2. The organisation expects all members of the Sporting Communities community to treat each other with respect, courtesy and consideration. All members have the right to expect professional behaviour from others, and a corresponding responsibility to behave professionally towards others.
  3. Harassment is a serious offence which is subject to the Sporting Communities disciplinary procedures. Where necessary, complaints of harassment, bullying or other inappropriate behaviour will be investigated in line with the appropriate procedures. Allegations of harassment or bullying which arise within the organisations environment will normally be dealt with under the appropriate procedure.
  4. All members of the organisations community have a personal responsibility for complying with this code and people in positions of authority, such as Directors, who have particular responsibilities under this policy, including to set a good personal example, to have regard to the principles of the policy, and to familiarise themselves with the procedures.
  5. This policy and the accompanying procedure may be found on the website at sporting communities.
  6. https://www.sportingcommunitiescic.org
  7. This policy will be subject to regular review by the senior management board.
  8. Definition of harassment (including bullying)


  9. A person subjects another to harassment where the individual engages in unwanted and unwarranted conduct which has the purpose or effect of:
    1. violating that other’s dignity, or
    2. creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that other.
  10. Harassment may involve repeated forms of unwanted and unwarranted behaviour, but a one-off incident can also amount to harassment.
  11. Harassment on grounds of protective characteristic may amount to unlawful discrimination. Harassment may also breach other legislation and may in some circumstances be a criminal offence, e.g. under the provisions of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
  12. Reasonable and proper management instructions administered reasonably, or reasonable and proper review of a member of staff’s or a volunteers’s work and/or performance will not constitute harassment or bullying.
  13. Behaviour will not amount to harassment if the conduct complained of could not reasonably be perceived as offensive.
  14. Bullying

  15. Bullying is a form of harassment. It may be characterised by offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.
  16. Behaviour

  17. Examples of behaviour which may amount to harassment and bullying include (but are not limited to) the following:
    • offensive comments or body language
    • verbal or physical threats insulting
    • abusive, embarrassing or patronising behaviour
    • humiliating or intimidating comments
    • demeaning criticism
    • open hostility
    • deliberately undermining a competent person by overloading with work and constant criticism
    • isolation from normal work or study place
    • conversations, or social events publishing, circulating or displaying pornographic, racist, homophobic, sexually suggestive or otherwise offensive pictures
    • other materials unwanted physical contact, ranging from an invasion of space to a serious assault
  18. Many of these examples of behaviour may occur through the use of the Internet, email, social networking sites, or telephone.

  19. All of the examples above may amount to bullying, particularly when the conduct is coupled with the inappropriate exercise of power or authority over another person.
  20. Being under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or otherwise intoxicated is not an excuse for harassment, and may be regarded as an aggravating feature.
  21. Intention or motives

  22. The intention or motives of the person whose behaviour is the subject of a complaint are not conclusive in deciding if behaviour amounts to harassment or bullying.
  23. Victimisation

  24. Harassment and bullying may occur not only on grounds of characteristics or perceived characteristics of the recipient of the behaviour but also on grounds of the characteristics or perceived characteristics of a person associated with him or her.
  25. Victimisation occurs where a person is subjected to detrimental treatment because the individual has, in good faith:
    • made an allegation of harassment
    • indicated an intention to make such an allegation
    • assisted or supported another person in bringing forward such an allegation
    • participated in an investigation of a complaint
    • participated in any disciplinary hearing arising from an investigation
  26. The organisation seeks to protect any member of the Sporting Communities community from victimisation arising as a result of bringing a complaint or assisting in an investigation where they act in good faith. Victimisation is a form of misconduct which may itself result in a disciplinary process.
  27. Malicious or vexatious complaints

  28. If a complaint is judged to be vexatious or malicious, disciplinary action may be taken against the complainant; however, such action will not be taken if a complaint which proves to be unfounded is judged to have been made in good faith.
  29. Confidentiality

  30. All information concerning allegations of harassment must be treated in the strictest confidence and breaches of confidentiality may give rise to disciplinary action. All parties involved in a complaint (including any witnesses who may be interviewed as part of any investigation, or trade union representatives supporting any of the parties) should maintain the confidentiality of the process.

This policy was last reviewed on 11/02/21