Examples of victimisation, bullying or harassment

The following includes examples of behaviour that constitutes harassment, bullying and victimisation. This list is not exhaustive and staff or volunteers may complain of any of the behaviour even if it is not directed at them if it has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. They need not possess the personal characteristic themselves. The behaviour does not need to be in person – e.g. bullying and harassment can occur over social media.

Examples of bullying 

(which do not appear to be on the grounds of any particular characteristic)

  • belittling, patronising or unfairly criticising someone alone or in front of others
  • talking about someone behind their back
  • rudeness, shouting or swearing
  • name calling, gossip, malicious lies, use of sarcasm
  • refusal of reasonable work requests
  • undermining behaviour in front of others
  • excessive monitoring
  • unfair or destructive criticism
  • exclusion from meetings/information
  • persistently and unjustifiably ignoring views and suggestions
  • decisions questioned/overruled unreasonably
  • unreasonable work requests
  • social exclusion
  • isolating, ignoring or refusing to work with someone
  • coercion
  • deliberately setting someone up to fail
  • deliberately giving someone too much or too little work
  • isolating, ignoring or refusing to work with someone
  • threats or physical violence

 Examples of harassment – on the grounds of:

Gender (sexual harassment)  the display of pin ups and other sexually explicit materialsexist or rude jokes, innuendo, cartoons, pictures or emailsmaking assumptions or judgements about a colleague based on genderlewd gestures or remarksleering or suggestive looksrequests for dates etc  when it is clear they are unwelcomeInappropriate  touching, groping or invasion of personal spaceindecent exposure or sexual assault
Gender identity  transphobic jokes, cartoons, pictures or emailsdeliberately continuing to refer to a person who is undergoing or has undergone gender reassignment by their previous name or birth genderdisclosing to a colleague or third party that someone is transgender against their wishesmaking transphobic insults, remarks or threats
EthnicityRace, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin (racial harassment)racist jokes, cartoons or picturesridiculing someone’s accent, colour, diet, etc.racist name calling or graffitimaking assumptions or judgements about a colleague based on race, nationality or ethnicitymaking racist insults or threatsinciting others to racially harass someoneracially motivated assault
Disability  the intentional use of offensive or outdated words and/or the continued use of such words after being informed that they are offensive or outdatedjokes, cartoons or pictures that ridicule disabled peoplemaking fun of someone’s disabilitydeliberately making things difficult for a disabled personmaking assumptions about a colleague based on their disabilitypatronising or ignoring a disabled person
Sexual orientation  homophobic comments, jokes, cartoons or picturesrefusing to work with someone or share facilities on the grounds of their actual or perceived sexual orientationmaking assumptions based on a person’s sexual orientationgossip or speculation about someone’s sexual orientationasking intrusive questions about someone’s personal or sex lifeouting an individual as lesbian, gay or bisexual without their permissionmaking homophobic insults and threatsusing religious belief to justify anti-gay bullying and harassment
Religion or belief  inappropriate comments, jokes, cartoons or pictures about particular religions or beliefsridiculing someone’s beliefs, dress or religious customsforcing one’s religion or beliefs on othersrefusing to work with someone on the grounds of religion or beliefsthreats  
Age  the use of offensive words or making fun of someone’s agemaking assumptions about someone because of their age or perceived agepatronising or ignoring a person because of their age or perceived age

Examples of victimisation

(actions taken against someone who has, or is suspected of making a complaint or assisting someone who has complained on the basis of bullying or harassment)

  • ignoring someone
  • spreading rumours
  • unfairly criticising someone’s work
  • unfairly increasing workload, or conversely not putting the volunteer on a rota
  • deliberately trying to get someone in trouble

What is the difference between being managed and being bullied?

Is constructive (even when being critical)Is destructive
Is based on fact and the needs of the organisationIs based on perception and assumption
Constructively criticises actions or behaviourCriticises the person
Is calm, dignified and professionalTakes an angry or aggressive tone
Is consistentIs inconsistent
Provides opportunity for improvement within a structured processProvides no opportunity for improvement since person feels threatened
Cares about individuals and their feelingsTakes no account of the person and their feelings
Results in a person knowing what has to be improved and how they can begin to do itResults in humiliation and loss of confidence
Allows opportunity for reflection and dialogueIs dictatorial and dismissive

Bullying and harassment within the workplace will not be tolerated and CAB Gwynedd is committed to action through positive policies to eliminate all forms of bullying and harassment. We have separate Dignity at Work policies for paid staff and volunteers (including trustees), reflecting their different legal status.