People - Self Coaching - Dignity at Work

Dignity at Work


What is dignity at work?


Dignity at work is a term used to describe how we should treat our colleagues with dignity and respect within the workplace.

It is about behaviour both from the Company’s point of view and as work colleagues towards each other.

It’s about valuing and respecting others, including their qualities and their differences



People - Self Coaching - Dignity at Work
Dignity at Work

Dignity at Work references a number of Company policies including those dealing with issues such as bullying & harassment and equal opportunities, discrimination & diversity.

The intention of Dignity at Work is to focus on promoting positive behaviours whilst ensuring there are also clear and effective procedures for dealing with the negative behaviours associated with bullying, discrimination and harassment.

It is the aim of american golf to ensure no job applicant, colleague or worker is discriminated against either directly or indirectly on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, religious belief, political opinion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, age or disability.


The Equality Act 2010 replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single act to make the law simpler and remove inconsistencies.

The purpose of the act is to address unfair treatment and help achieve equal opportunities in the workplace. It also extends to Companies in the provision of their goods and services and therefore we must ensure that our customers are not subjected to any discrimination in their dealings with us.


The Equality Act recognises 9 ‘protected characteristics’ including:



Gender reassignment

Marriage & civil partnership

Pregnancy & maternity


Religion or belief


Sexual orientation.


People - Self Coaching - Dignity at Work

Dignity at Work

You have certain rights and responsibilities in relation to dignity at work. Following these principles will help protect colleagues from harassment, victimisation and bullying.

Your Rights:

To be treated with dignity and respect

To be treated fairly and without discrimination

To be consulted on decisions that affect you personally

To be able hold personal views

To be able to raise concerns

Your Responsibilities:

To treat others with dignity and respect

To challenge or report inappropriate behaviour

To recognise the needs of others

To be mindful of others when expressing your views

To respect the authority and reasonable decisions of others


People - Self Coaching - Dignity at Work

Dignity at Work

To promote a culture of dignity and respect, and minimise incidents of unacceptable behaviour becoming issues of potential bullying and harassment, it is crucial to define the type of behaviour considered unacceptable, and to provide examples so that people understand what is meant by it.

The terms ‘bullying’ and ‘harassment’ are often misused and a failure to clearly define can lead to confusion, misunderstanding and conflict between all of the parties involved.   The key difference between harassment and bullying is that the recipient of harassment has a ‘protected characteristic’ and is treated unfairly because of that characteristic.




People - Self Coaching - Dignity at Work

Dignity at Work

Examples of unacceptable behaviour


-Being treated unfairly compared to others in your workplace

-Persistent and unjustified criticism of your work or performance

-Being given unmanageable workload or impossible deadlines

-Overbearing supervision or someone continually checking up on you when it is not necessary

-Punishment imposed without reasonable justification or a proper procedure

-Having your opinions and views ignored

-Pressure from someone else to do work below your level of competence

-Someone withholding information which affects your performance

-Feeling threatened in any way while at work

-Intimidating behaviour from people at work

-Being shouted at or someone losing their temper with you

-Teasing, mocking, sarcasm or jokes which go too far

-People excluding you from their group

-Being treated in a disrespectful or rude way

-Being insulted, innuendo’s or having offensive remarks made about you

-Gossip and rumours being spread about you or having allegations made about you

-Being humiliated or ridiculed in connection to your work

-Actual physical violence at work

-Foul or abusive language bring directed toward you

-Unwelcome sexual advances, touching, suggestive behaviour or getting too close to an individual making them feel uncomfortable



When is a joke not a joke?

Often the person making the comment will say “I didn’t mean anything by it – it was only a bit of fun” or “we all have banter here, there’s nothing meant by it”. Neither of these excuses would be an effective defence against harassment because it is the individual’s perception of what was said that is important, not what was meant.

Differences in culture, attitudes and experience can mean that what is perceived by one person as harassment is perceived by others as a normal social exchange, but the perception of the complainant will be taken seriously.

It is for each individual to determine what behaviour is acceptable to them and what they find offensive. The same is true of bullying: the key factor is the effect on the individual, not the intention of the “bully”. 

You must therefore always be mindful of others when expressing your views or making ‘jokes’ and ensure that ‘banter’ does not go too far.


People - Self Coaching - Dignity at Work

Dignity at Work

Performance Management

Line managers are responsible for ensuring that the staff who report to them perform to an acceptable standard. Bullying does not therefore include legitimate, justifiable, appropriately conducted criticism of an employee’s behaviour or job performance.


Impact of bullying and harrassment

People who are bullied or harassed can often become stressed and upset. Their productivity will almost certainly be affected and they are more likely to take time off work sick. A workplace where everyone is respected and valued and complaints of bullying are properly managed will undoubtedly be a more productive one.


Procedure for complaints of bullying or harrassment:

If you feel you are being discriminated against, harassed or bullied do not feel that it’s something that must be tolerated.

Dealing with issues informally and as early as possible are normally the most effective way of dealing with them. Options to resolve such matters at any early stage can include (either with or without the support of your line manager):

-Meeting with the alleged harasser or bully, making it clear that you find their behaviour unacceptable and asking them to stop.

-Asking someone to speak to the alleged harasser or bully on your behalf, outlining the problem and explaining your feelings. However it is much better if you can speak to the individual directly in order that you can discuss your thoughts and feelings directly and agree on the way forward.

-Taking no action – some people find it useful to simply talk over the problem with a colleague or their line manager but ultimately decide to take no action. However this is for the individual to decide upon and it must be recognised that the situation may continue.

Where an issue cannot be resolved informally then the formal procedure will be initiated and in such circumstances you should contact the HR department for advice. Any concerns raised will be dealt with in a confidential manner.

-Colleagues should in the first instance attempt to talk to their Manager and attempt to resolve the issue informally

-If you feel unable to approach your Manager or the complaint is against them, then the issue should be raised to the HR Department.

- In the case of a formal complaint this should be made in writing, detailing the following:

  * Name of the harasser/bully

  * What has occurred

  * When and where it occurred

  * Names of any witnesses

  * Steps taken to stop the harassment


 -      HR will direct the complaint to an appropriate person. The complaint will be thoroughly investigated by an appropriate person.


All complaints will be dealt with seriously, promptly and confidentially.  If an offence is found the disciplinary procedure will be instigated.


People - Self Coaching - Dignity at Work

Dignity at Work

Dignity at work is about treating colleagues with dignity and respect.



What is the name of the Act that addresses unfair treatment in the workplace?

The Race Relations Act

The Disability Discrimination Act

The Equality Act

‘Lads mag’s are left open in the staff canteen and are put into Claire’s locker by one of her male colleagues, is:




Steve is not invited to social events by the rest of the team, this is:



Paul, who is gay, tells his manager that he is unhappy that a customer has frequently made homophobic remarks in front of him, this is:



3rd Party Harrassment

Only the person who is being harassed can complain?



To decide if someone has been bullied or harassed the key factor is?

The effect on the individual

What the bully/ harasser meant

To resolve a complaint of bullying and harassment, ideally it should be dealt with:

Formally in all cases

As early as possible and informally