Support FAQs

These questions focus on the support that is available, no matter what your circumstances are.  Questions cover topics such as what you should do should you witness inappropriate behaviour as a manager and what support is available if a complaint has been made against you.

  • What support is available if I have been sexually harassed?

    The policy sets out a range of options for you to consider.  As a first step, you can contact the Independent Support Service who can provide you with advice, emotional support and access to an advocacy worker who can help you deal with your complaint.  They can also signpost you to other agencies as appropriate.   You can also speak to your line manager, Trade Union Representative, or a colleague (including members of the Diversity Networks).

  • What is the role of HR?

    To provide advice and maintain the policy and procedures and to provide training.  HR will also manage the external contractors associated with this Policy, i.e. the Independent Support Service and the Investigation Service.

  • What should I say and do as a colleague if someone tells me they have experienced sexual harassment?

    You can provide support by listening, and giving advice if you are comfortable doing so.  You can direct them to the Independent Support Service and you can also contact the support service for advice.

  • I have witnessed one of my colleagues being sexually harassed, what do I do?

    If you feel comfortable with raising it directly with the individual who has carried out the harassment then you should do so.  You may find it helpful to use the DESC tool.  Be alert to the fact that the individual may not be aware of the impact of their behaviour You should also speak to the colleague who was harassed to see if they need any support to deal with the issue and encourage them to contact the Independent Support Service and/or their line manager for further advice if they do.

  • As a manager who can I speak to for advice on dealing with inappropriate behaviour in my team?

    You can speak with your line manager or colleagues in the HR Office.

  • What are the details of the Independent Support Service?


    The helpline number is 080 0756 9969 and operates Monday to Friday from 9am to 10pm.  You can also contact them by email on [email protected] and you will get a response within 24 hours.

  • Do I need to give my name when I contact the Independent Support Service?

    No, you do not need to give your name if you are seeking advice.  If you are seeking support from the Support Service to facilitate an informal resolution, then you will need to give your name and details of the complaint. 

    If you want to make a formal complaint you will be required to give your name.  This is because as part of the investigation, the respondent will need to know the facts of the complaint made against them and this includes the name of the person making the complaint.  Only in very exceptional circumstances, such as where there is a threat to the safety of the complainant, will their name be withheld. 

  • Can I contact the Independent Support Service about being bullied?


    At this point the service is specifically for sexual harassment.  Bullying and other forms of harassment continue to be dealt with via existing procedures and if you need support and guidance you can contact the Employee Assistance Service on 0800 032 9849.

  • A complaint has been made against me, what support is available?

    You can contact the Independent Support Service for advice and they can also give you access to the counselling service for emotional support.  If you are a contractor, you should contact your employer.

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