Prevention of Workplace Harassment and Bullying Policy

Policies > Group Policies and Guidelines > Prevention of Workplace Harassment and Bullying Policy

This policy applies to all employees, consultants, contractors, customers and agencies working for and engaged with Yoma businesses.

Bullying and harassment can have serious impact on  the company’s reputation and on it employees and employers as it affects the productivity, staff morale and success of the company.

All YOMA employees, consultants, contractors , customers:

  • Treat their colleagues with respect
  • Behave in ways that contribute to a positive and safe working environment
  • Be understanding of people’s differences
  • Report any behaviour which they that genuinely consider breach of the policy

All YOMA leaders are expected to:

  • Lead by example and build a respectful work environment
  • Encourage team members to talk through any issues which may be considered bulling or harassment where appropriate
  • Treat any complaint seriously and act promptly to get it resolved.

What is Bullying?

Bullying is defined as repetitive unreasonable behaviour directed at an employee or group of employees to create a risk to the health and safety/and or short term or long term detrimental effect psychologically or physically.

Examples of bullying include:

  • Put downs, belittling comments, persistent criticism
  • Public humiliation, teasing and taunting
  • Intimidation e.g. misuse of power, threats of violence or against job security
  • Excluding someone from team/work related activities
  • Purposefully overworking an employee, giving too little work or withholding information which allows them to work effectively
  • Displaying offensive material
  • Pressure to behave in an inappropriate manner
  • Behaviour that happens face to face, by email, text message, online or other social media channels (Cyber bullying )

Not all one-time  instances of unreasonable behaviour count as bullying, but can reveal a deeper underlying problem which may escalate if it goes unchecked.

However a single act of bullying related to age, race/ gender are in breach of anti-discrimination laws and can lead to disciplinary action and termination from the job.

What is not considered as bullying ?

  • One –off or occasional instances of rudeness ot tactlessness
  • Disciplinary procedures
  • Giving constructive feedback
  • Telling the employees to do their work
  • Performance management reviews
  • Setting high performance standards


The term “Harassment” is used to describe any workplace treatment that seems unfair or unduly harsh. It is a type of discrimination and repeated behaviour, significant in nature that is humiliating, offensive or intimidating to an employee creating a risk to their health and safety and /or have a detrimental effect on their work performance. It may be based on race, colour, religion, sex (including gender identity and pregnancy), national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation or parental status.

Harassment usually is intentional, but can also be unintentional where the perpetrator’s actions are not intended to cause humiliation, offense or intimidation.

Examples of harassment include:

  • Preventing or hindering access to workplace
  • Persistent following, watching, loitering near or accosting an employee
  • Giving offensive material to an employee or leaving it where it will be found
  • Circulating persistent and malicious gossip about an employee
  • Interfering with an employee’s property

What is not considered harassment ( including sexual and racial harassment?

  • Behaviour based on mutual attraction, including the devlopment of relationships
  • Occasional and appropriate compliments on person’s appearance
  • Appropriate performance management and feedback 

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is language, visual material or physical behaviour of sexual nature which is unwelcome or offensive to an employee. That which is repeated or so significant that it has a detrimental effect on the employee’s employment, job performance, job satisfaction and physical and emotional health.

For more details refer to Sexual harassment policy and procedure

Racial Harassment

Racial harassment is unwelcome language, visual material or physical behaviour that directly to indirectly expresses hostility against, brings into contempt, or ridicules an employee on the grounds of their race, colour, ethnicity or national origin, which is offensive to the employee and which is repeated or so significant that it has  a detrimental effect on the persons employment, job performance or job satisfaction and health .

Examples of racial harassment can include:

  • Jokes, remarks, insults, songs, innuendos or direct comments about cultural differences, ethnic origin or race
  • Name-calling or deliberately mispronouncing names
  • Making fun of the way people dress, speak or look relation tot heir ethnic origin
  • Offensive material
  • Threatening behaviour based on cultural differenbces, ethnic origin or race

What should you do ?

Yoma will support anyone who has genuine complaint of bullying or harassment. If a complaint is made, we act  promptly , investigate the matter fully and treat the matter seriously and in confidence. Anyone making a complaint will be protected  from any retaliation, victimisation or discrimination from either the person or people they are complaining about or anyone working at Yoma.


  • If you feel comfortable, speak to the person whose behaviour is causing the problem
  • Focus on the behaviour- don't make it personal
  • Be specific and give examples of the behaviour that is concerning you
  • Explain why the behaviour is unwelcome and ask for it to stop
  • Be firm and confident
  • Document everything
  • Talk to someone you trust a manager, colleague or use the Employee Resilience programme
  • Speak to your manager if appropriate who may facilitate an informal meeting with you and the person whose behaviour is of concern to discuss the issue


  • If you tried to resolve the bullying and harassment informally and it has failed to stop, you should make a formal complaint to the manager or to your HR
  • Formal complaint should be made in writing and outline dates of the incident(s) clearly and include witness and any supporting information
  • Once the complaint is made, a meeting will be arranged with appropriate manager and or HR to discuss your concerns and agree the next steps which will include a full investigation into allegations
  • All issues raised will be handled confidentiality in a timely manner.