CMI Policy on Prevention of Harassment (Including Sexual Harassment) and Bullying
- CMI is committed to fostering an environment which ensures that everyone is treated with dignity and respect and afforded equal treatment. CMI takes any complaint of harassment (including sexual harassment) or bullying extremely seriously. Harassment and bullying undermine the core values of CMI and can have a serious and negative effect on the health, confidence, morale and performance of those affected by it.
- CMI is committed to taking all necessary steps to ensure that members are not subjected to harassment, sexual harassment or bullying and will enforce the policy to the fullest extent necessary.
- This policy applies to CMI members.
- All members are bound by this policy, irrespective of whether the conduct complained of takes place on CMI premises or elsewhere. This policy covers any place at which activities take place, including:
- Travel to and from such places; and
- Any social activities connected with the activities.
- It covers face-to-face actions, as well as those which take place through other mediums e.g. emails, correspondence, social networking sites, text messages etc.
- As far as apprentices are concerned, CMI will provide a copy of this policy to all third-party organisations which offer apprenticeships and make it clear that CMI expects them to have policies in place which meet CMI’s own standards.
- Sexual Harassment
- Sexual harassment may consist of one incident or a series of incidents involving unsolicited or unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including sexual advances, requests for sexual favours or any other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. It is not restricted to conduct which would amount to a criminal offence.
- The following are examples of sexual harassment:
- unwelcome sexual advances (written, verbal or physical)
- demands or requests for sexual favours
- unnecessary physical contact, including contact to which an individual has not consented or which they have not been given an opportunity to reject (this can include simple touching as well as serious assault)
- compromising suggestions or invitations
- suggestive remarks or looks
- requests for sexual favours in return for career advancement
- following, stalking or spying
- display of sexual materials, including on a computer screen
- any sexually-orientated conduct, including “joking” or innuendo
- Any conduct which has the purpose or the effect of interfering with a member’s work performance, violating his or her dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him or her.
- The effect of the unwanted behaviour on the victim will be an important factor to be taken into account, whether or not the behaviour was intended to be harmful, together with whether it was reasonable for the conduct to have had that effect.
- A single incident may constitute harassment.
- Harassment is a form of discrimination; it means unwanted and unsolicited behaviour which, in the victim’s perception, violates his or her dignity or which makes the victim feel that he or she is in a hostile, humiliating, degrading or offensive environment. The effect of the unwanted behaviour on the victim will be an important factor to be taken into account, whether or not the behaviour was intended to be harmful. All forms of harassment will not be tolerated, including harassment on the grounds of sex, race, sexual orientation, religion or belief, marital status, disability, age, social background or any other unlawful criteria or circumstance.
- The following are examples of the type of behaviour which may amount to harassment:
- physical or sexual assault
- verbal abuse
- exclusion from social networks or activities or other forms of isolation
- offensive remarks or ridicule
- Harassment (including sexual harassment) includes conduct which creates an atmosphere in which the victim fears that rejection or submission may be used as the basis for decisions which may affect them at work.
- Bullying is a serious form of harassment which may be characterised as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour. It may or may not include the misuse of power.
- Examples of bullying include:
- Abusive or insulting language
- Singling out one person for what is a common problem
- Ignoring or excluding the victim
- Undermining the victim through constant criticism
- Humiliating the victim in front of others
- Blocking opportunities
Responsibilites Regarding Sexual Harassment
- All members have a personal responsibility to ensure that their behaviour is not contrary to this policy. All CMI members are encouraged to reinforce the maintenance of a work environment free from sexual harassment.
Reporting Harassment or Bullying
- If a person believes that he or she has been subjected to harassment, sexual harassment or bullying, then they should follow the process set out in the paragraphs below.
- CMI has a Complaints and Investigations Committee (CIC). The CIC is responsible for
- investigating every formal complaint;
- taking appropriate remedial measures to respond to any substantiated allegations of sexual harassment;
- discouraging and preventing mentoring-related sexual harassment.
Procedures for Resolution, Settlement or Prosecution of Acts of Harassment or Bullying
- CMI is committed to providing a supportive environment in which to resolve concerns about harassment and bullying
- Informal resolution options
- When an incident of harassment or bullying occurs, a victim of, or witness to, such conduct may communicate his or her disapproval and objections directly to the harasser and request the harasser to cease the behaviour.
- If the behaviour does not stop, or if the victim is not comfortable with addressing the harasser directly, the victim can bring his or her concerns to the attention of the Complaints and Investigations Committee, via the Institute Secretary.
- A person with a harassment concern who is not comfortable with informal resolution or has exhausted these options may make a formal complaint to the CIC. Such complaints will be handled in accordance with the Professional Conduct Complaints Procedure.
- Overlap with criminal offences
- Alleged criminal conduct should be reported to the police but the behaviour may also fall within this policy, or may engage the Code of Conduct and Practice.
- Where there is an active police investigation CMI will proceed in stages and may defer action to avoid compromise to the criminal law process.
- Where a criminal offence is proved, to the criminal standard, it may be treated as presumptive evidence of the underlying facts.
- Where the criminal justice process does not result in a conviction the CMI process will resume. (The CMI process involves a lower standard of proof and different factual elements).
- In the event that the complaint of harassment or bullying is upheld, corrective action will be taken. Corrective action may include any or all of the following:
- Formal apology
- Withdrawal of the perpetrator’s CMI membership
- CMI recognises the sensitivities involved in a complaint of bullying or harassment and will take all reasonable steps to keep the matter confidential to the extent practicable and appropriate. Information about the allegations will only be given to those who strictly need to know about the issues raised. However, CMI has a duty to deal with all complaints justly; thus no complaint can be made anonymously and the person complained about will always be entitled to know the name of their accuser and the details of the allegation.
- No person who makes a complaint of harassment or bullying should be subject to retaliation. Not all claims of harassment may actually be harassment as there is necessarily a certain amount of subjectivity involved. Even if the complaint results in no action being taken, the complainant will not be penalised for making the complaint, unless there is clear evidence that the complaint is deliberately false and made with malicious intent.
- Any retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action.