Examples of Bullying, Harassment, Discrimination and Victimisation

Below is a list of examples of behaviour that may constitute bullying, harassment, discrimination and victimisation. The list is not exhaustive, however, they are indicative of behaviour that would be considered unacceptable conduct by the University.

Harassment can take many forms and may, for example, occur in a face-to-face setting, by telephone, or in written or electronic communications.
• Insults, name-calling and offensive language and gestures
• Inappropriate jokes
• Ridiculing and undermining behaviour
• Inappropriate or unnecessary physical contact
• Physical assault or threats of physical assault
• Intimidating, coercive or threatening actions and behaviour
• Unwelcome sexual advances
• Isolation, non-cooperation or deliberate exclusion
• Inappropriate comments about a person’s appearance, intrusive questions or comments about a person’s private life and malicious gossip
• Offensive images and literature
• Sexually suggestive behaviour, or compromising sexual invitations or demands
• Racial harassment – including racist jokes
• Verbal or written abuse including non-communication and deliberate and/or inappropriate exclusion from social events or day to day activities
• Victimisation because of someone’s gender or gender identity, race, disability, sexual orientation, age, religion or other beliefs
• Abuse of power by someone in authority
• Incitement of others to commit harassment
• Electronic bullying
• Use of social networking sites to post derogatory messages about someone
inappropriate and derogatory remarks in connection with performance
• The use of inappropriate literature, pictures, books or tapes to bully or harass others
• Unnecessary and degrading references to someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity or their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity
• Systematic ostracism or exclusion from normal conversation in the work environment, or work related social events
• Spreading rumours or gossip including speculating about someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity, or outing them

Bullying can take the form of physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct. The following list provides examples of the type of behaviours that could amount to bullying:
• Verbal or practical jokes
• Shouting at, being sarcastic towards, ridiculing or demeaning others
• Making homophobic insults and threats
• Physical or psychological threats
• Outing an individual as LGBT without their permission
• Overbearing and intimidating levels of supervision
• Inappropriate and/or derogatory remarks about someone's performance
• Abuse of authority or power by those in positions of seniority, or
• Deliberately excluding someone from meetings or communications without good reason
• Making someone’s working life unreasonably difficult, for example, setting of impossible deadlines, objectives and deliberately imposing an intolerable workload
• Incitement of others to do any of the above

Discrimination happens when one person is treated less favourably than others because of a protected characteristic:
• age
• disability
• gender reassignment or gender identity
• race
• religion or belief
• sex
• sexual orientation
• marriage and civil partnership
• pregnancy and maternity.

Victimisation can take many forms. The following list provides just a few indicative examples of the type of behaviour which could amount to victimisation:
• Penalising someone for making a complaint of discrimination, harassment or bullying. For example, this might involve giving the person unrealistic or impossible deadlines or deciding not to nominate someone for contribution pay even though they deserve such a nomination.
• Excluding a person from work-related activities or conversations in which they have a right or legitimate expectation to participate because they have made a complaint of discrimination, harassment or bullying.
• Creating a difficult or oppressive environment for an individual because they have made a complaint – whether informal or formal – of discrimination, harassment or bullying. This might involve, for example, talking negatively about the person behind their back or making disparaging, ridiculing or mocking comments or remarks.

An example of victimisation
When Jason raised a grievance about homophobic comments being made in his office his manager took action. He informed all employees that these comments would not be tolerated and as a result they stopped. However, Jason has noticed that his team are now treating him differently than they were before, and they no longer invite him to any work socials, which were a regular weekly event. They have also stopped talking when he enters the staff room or started speaking in hushed voices when he’s around them.