Diligence Security Solutions is fully committed to fostering a safe and healthy work environment for all. Our goal is to protect employees from unwanted and inappropriate sexual behaviour. We take a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment and assault. These types of behaviours are prohibited inside and outside of the workplace. We fully comply with the scope of the Equalities Act 2010 and will encourage the reporting of all unwanted behaviours to the police or appropriate authorities.
The provisions in this policy apply to employees, managers, clients, investors, contractors and any other third parties involved with Diligence Security Solutions, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, role, status or other protected characteristic.
Sexual harassment is any harassing conduct based on the gender, gender identity or sexuality of the recipient. It relates to any individual’s perceived or actual gender, gender identity or through association with individuals of a particular gender, gender identity or sexuality. It includes behaviour which results in the individual feeling threatened or compromised. Sexual harassment can be experienced by women and men. Transgender people may also experience sexual harassment based on perceptions or assumptions about them in relation to their appearance or sexuality. Sexual harassment has the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of an individual. It is any behaviour that is regarded as unwelcome and/or offensive to the recipient or a witness.
The following are examples which illustrate such conduct, though this is not an exhaustive list:
- Unwanted physical contact.
- Contact which is intimidating, physically or verbally abusive.
- Jokes that are based on sexual or gender issues.
- Non-verbal conduct, such as staring or gestures.
- Suggestions that sexual favours may further a person’s career, or that refusal may hinder it.
- Sexual advances, propositions, suggestions or pressure for sexual activity at or outside work.
- Sexual assault
Sexual assault and physical threats
Some types of sexual harassment, such as sexual assault and other physical threats, are a criminal matter as well as an employment matter. Criminal matters should be reported to the police.
- Call 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger or if the crime is in progress.
- Call 101 to contact the police if the crime is not an emergency.
If a complaint is reported to the police or criminal court proceedings are being pursued, Diligence Security Solutions will still investigate the complaint as an employment matter. We may then follow our disciplinary procedure, without awaiting the outcome of criminal proceedings, provided this can be done fairly.
Sexual harassment can happen to anyone at any time, in any place. This includes the workplace. Individuals can be sexually harassed by people of the same sex or the opposite sex. Sexual harassment can come from anyone, including:
- Someone on the same team
- A supervisor or manager
- Another member of staff
- Someone else that an employee comes into contact with while they are working
Making a complaint of sexual harassment
All complaints of sexual harassment will be taken very seriously, handled fairly and sensitively. Diligence Security Solutions will encourage employees who believe they have been victim of or witness to sexual harassment to make a formal complaint in line with the company’s grievance policy and the police. If a complaint is made, or there is reason to believe there is sexual harassment occurring, Diligence Security Solutions senior management will immediately investigate and address the allegations. Specifically:
- Collect as many details as possible
- Take immediate action (if the allegation warrants)
- Choose an appropriate investigator
- Conduct interviews with witnesses, the harasser and other related parties
- Gather and document physical and digital evidence
- Come to a conclusion about the allegations
If the investigation proves that the allegations are credible, then the company will immediately take appropriate corrective action. Depending on the severity of the sexual misconduct, corrective measures range from a single verbal warning to immediate dismissal and even criminal penalties.
Supporting allegations of sexual harassment
Experiencing sexual harassment is often extremely emotional and distressing for the employee involved. Diligence Security Solutions will endeavour to make the reporting of sexual harassment as stress-free as possible. In most cases this involves simple things like making sure there is plenty of time to discuss the matter and finding a private space to meet.
Diligence Security Solutions recognise it is also likely to be very distressing for an individual to be accused of sexual harassment. Whilst a fair and thorough investigation will need to be carried out, accused individuals will also be offered support and sensitivity.
This policy is not limited to what occurs inside the office or working sites. Sexual harassment will not be tolerated at work, at off-site gatherings or anywhere else.
We are committed to carrying out all provisions in this policy and monitoring its effectiveness. We will work with related parties to improve the policy and our processes on a consistent basis.