Sexual Harrassment

Sexual Harassment Policy

 Introduction and Rationale

This policy was drawn up in June 2006. It was in 2010 and reviewed again by the  Board of Management on 10 November 2014. The Board of Management of St Colmcille’s BNS, Swords recognises that all employees have the right to a workplace free from sexual harassment and is fully committed to ensuring that all employees are able to enjoy that right.

There is a responsibility on all employees to ensure a workplace free from sexual harassment for all other employees, and to be aware of this policy. Any complaint of sexual harassment shall be fully and properly investigated, and, if substantiated will be regarded as grounds for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. An attempt will be made to resolve the complaint informally in the first instance but if this is not possible, a formal procedure will be invoked. Confidentiality will be ensured insofar as is possible, at all times during the investigation for all parties involved.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment means unwanted conduct of a sexual nature or other conduct based on a person’s sex which affects the dignity of men and women at work. This can include unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct which is offensive and causes discomfort or humiliation to the individual concerned.

Making a complaint of sexual harassment

Informal procedures

  • Seek advice and support from friends and/or colleagues
  • Check with colleagues to see if anyone else is encountering similar treatment
  • Speak to Union representative
  • Speak to the principal / deputy principal /chairperson or any other member of the Board of Management
  • Keep a written record for future reference, quoting dates, times, places and any witnesses of bullying

Formal Procedures

If it is not possible to resolve the matter informally, a formal complaints procedure shall be applied incorporating the following steps:

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

The complaint will be investigated with minimum delay, and as confidentially as possible, by two individuals named by the Board of Management, one of whom shall be the same sex as the complainant, if so requested. Due respect shall be had for the rights of the complainant and the alleged perpetrator. Both parties may be accompanied / represented at all interviews / meetings held, and details of these meetings shall be recorded in writing.

When a complaint is found to be substantiated, the extent and nature of the sexual harassment will determine the form of disciplinary action to be taken. These actions may include a verbal warning, a written warning, a suspension from some duties with or without pay, suspension from full duties with or without pay or dismissal.

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

No record of any complaint will be registered on an employee’s file unless the formal procedure outlined above has been invoked

It is the opinion of the Board of Management that issues of sexual harassment are best dealt with within the school. However, no aspect of this policy affects any employee’s individual rights to take their complaint outside of the school.

THIS POLICY WILL BE SUBJECT TO PERIODIC REVIEW.

Sanctioned at Board of Management meeting on 10 November 2014

Posted on www.colmcilles.net on Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Review date: December 2017

Signed: __________________________

Thomas Shields (Chairperson)