Bullying, Harassment and Unwanted Sexual Attention Policy
At the Royal Court, we aim to provide the best possible working environment for all employees and freelancers working with us, one that is based on collaboration and respect.
We expect all employees to recognise that each individual has a right to a working environment which encourages respectful, considerate, dignified and non-sexualised working relationships. It is the duty of every employee to treat their colleagues with dignity and respect and we are opposed to harassment and bullying in any form. Every employee is responsible for their own behaviour in this regard and any threatening, aggressive, bullying behaviour, harassment or unwanted sexual attention, language or behaviour may result in disciplinary action.
Harassment includes any behaviour that is offensive, intimidating, humiliating or hostile; which interferes with individuals’ work; which causes stress, anxiety, fear or sickness on the part of the harassed person and behaviour which sexualises the workplace. Harassment based on age, sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment, ethnic or national origins, religion or belief, or harassment of a sexual nature, is unlawful and may render the persons responsible personally liable for legal action or even criminal proceedings.
This policy on harassment and bullying applies to all members of staff as well as freelance and contract staff employed by the Royal Court. It is the responsibility of all managers, members of staff and people employed by the Royal Court to ensure this policy is upheld and clearly communicated to everyone.
Sexual harassment, unwanted sexual attention, language or inappropriate behaviour of a sexual nature or intent.
Definition of sexual harassment:
Any unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, or other conduct based on sex, affecting the dignity of individuals at work – which can include unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct whereby the behaviour is inappropriate, offensive or distressing for the recipient; and such conduct creates an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or sexualised working environment for the recipient. Conduct or comments become harassment when they are unwelcome to others or make others feel uncomfortable or threatened, even if they are intended as a joke. Intention is not the same as impact.
Conduct may include:
- Insinuating and sexualised remarks
- Grabbing, deliberate touching
- Suggestive gestures and jokes
- Staring, meaningful glances
- Seemingly accidental touching
- Demand for sexual attention
- Derogatory remarks about an individual’s body, manner or sexual activities
- Insult after rejection of an advance and / or repeated propositions
- Showing, sending or display of pornography
- Promise of advantage for sexual concessions
- Threat of disadvantage for rejection of advances
- Physical force, or threat of force, for sexual action
This list is not exhaustive and we recognise that unwanted sexual attention can take many forms.
- We ask everyone working at or for the Royal Court to consider the impact that their actions or comments may have on others and to take responsibility for their own behaviour.
- If you feel comfortable doing so, we encourage you to firstly directly address your concern with the individual(s) involved. This helps to foster an honest and open community and is often the fastest path to a resolution.
- We encourage everyone to report instances of sexual harassment and encourage their peers to do the same. Peer to peer support will help to create a working culture where inappropriate sexual behaviour or language is completely unacceptable and can be challenged either in the moment or through the formal procedure.
- We will keep a log of incidents which are reported to us to help identify patterns
- We will ensure we raise awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace by providing a workshop for all staff on an annual basis, keeping the conversation live and giving people the confidence to challenge and change a working culture which condones inappropriate sexual behaviour or language.
- We will communicate this policy clearly to all writers, actors, stage managers, creative teams and other freelancers working with us.
- This policy is endorsed and supported by the Board of Trustees, who undertake to support the Executive team in managing cases which may result in disciplinary action and / or dismissal.
- The procedure for reporting is outlined below and all cases will be taken seriously and treated sensitively.
- Each stage of this procedure should be agreed, in writing, with the complainant. We recognise that experiencing harassment can be complex and that thoughts and feelings around a particular incident may change during this process.
- Incidents of sexual harassment should be reported to your Line Manager, a member of the Senior Management Team (Artistic Director, Executive Producer, General Manager, Finance Director or Head of Production) or any other colleague who you trust.
- Whether a report is formal grievance or an informal report, whether you are the line manager or a colleague, or whether you witness an episode the following procedure applies in all cases:
STAGE ONE: report in writing (by email) and verbally (in a confidential environment) to your line manager or other appropriate colleague and state whether this is a formal or informal complaint. Include evidence if you have it. If you do not feel comfortable discussing this with your Line Manager, or if the complaint is about your line manager you may go directly to any member of the Senior Management Team (Artistic Director, Executive Producer, General Manager, Finance Director or Head of Production) or any other colleague who you trust.
STAGE TWO: the line manager, or other colleague will share this evidence with the Senior Management team and this group will discuss what action should be taken.
STAGE THREE: the Artistic Director and Executive Producer will meet with the complainant in a safe, confidential environment to talk more about the events and to assess how they feel. This meeting is informal, and gentle, led by the Executive in order to signal how importantly the leadership takes these complaints, and that all situations need a sensitive, high level, bespoke response. The complainant may bring a colleague or friend to this meeting.
STAGE FOUR: the Artistic Director and the Executive Producer will meet with the person against whom the complaints / reports are brought. This meeting is in a safe, confidential environment and an appropriate amount of time must be given to this meeting.
STAGE FIVE: the Executive team will discuss the outcomes of these meetings, and include the line manager of both parties, where appropriate. The Artistic Director is able to form a wider confidential group or senior staff as an Ethics Committee to discuss nuanced cases which may have serious repercussions for either party.
STAGE SIX: Actions are agreed and communicated to both parties. The Executive team may report incidents and outcomes to the Board. In some cases the Board may be required to approve or take further action.
Where any stage of this process tracks a standard grievance process, or case of gross misconduct, that procedure will apply and overtake this protocol.