New ‘Respect at Work’ policy to be introduced by Peterborough City Council

The meeting in progress.The meeting in progress.
The meeting in progress.
Peterborough City Council has introduced a new ‘Respect at Work’ policy.

The ‘Respect at Work’ policy has been drawn up as part of the council’s commitment to creating a work environment where everyone is treated with respect and dignity, where staff do not experience harassment or bullying.

Speaking to members of the Employment Committee at their meeting at Sand Martin House (June 17), Lisa Brightey, Reward Advisor, Policy and Projects said: “The reason we have brought this new policy before the committee for approval, and to split it out of our other, existing policies is because we feel it is a new matter and one that needs to be addressed with immediate effect.

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“This policy covers disrespectful behaviour of and by managers, by employees, contractors and other agency staff and anyone else engaged to work at Peterborough City Council whether by direct contract with the council, or otherwise.

Lisa Brightey.Lisa Brightey.
Lisa Brightey.

“The procedure accompanying this policy outlines the process for members of staff who believe that they have experienced unacceptable behaviour such as bullying or harassment.

“So that they may raise a complaint either informally, or formally; and for those who witness unacceptable behaviour, guidance is given on how to stop this behaviour.

“For those accused of unacceptable behaviour, there are guidelines on how they might deal with somebody who has approached them and said ‘your behaviour is unacceptable to me’.

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“We appreciate that sometimes that can be an unconscious thing, and not actually intended; but it is important to make sure that people realise it is not the intent, but how it is received.

“Subject to the policy being approved, this will be followed with an awareness campaign so that it is at the forefront of employees’ minds and also part of policy as well.

“If the policy is approved, there will be some slight impact on our Grievance Policy and also our Equality and Diversity Policy, and both of these may need slight amendments accordingly.”

Cllr Mohammed Jamil said: “I am very glad that we have this new policy before us for approval – I’m saddened that we need it, but I am appreciative of the team who have brought it to us today, but can you tell me a little more about the Employee Assistance Program?”

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“Ms Brightey replied: “This is a part of our policy that is open to all members of staff, managers, employees and contractors.

“It is a confidential phone line that they can call should they have any problems they may have, whether they’re mental health, financial assistance should they need that; and it also applies to their families as well.

“Included are up to six sessions of counselling, and then would go to our occupational health for further assistance should it be required, and is procured in complete confidence through an independent third party called Health Assured.”

Members voted unanimously to approve the new Respect at Work Policy and Procedure.

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