Appendix D - Procedure for Complaints relating to external providers


1. Introduction

1.1 This procedure is intended to outline the process dealing with harassment or bullying complaints concerning contractors and suppliers.

1.2 The University is committed to eliminating all forms of direct, indirect, associated or perceived forms of harassments, discrimination, and victimisation of employees and students, as outlined in the Equality Act 2010.

1.3 The University, as part of its daily business, conducts campus infrastructure development and maintains regular contact with contractors and suppliers. Many have tendered for work and through this process are advised of information on the University Policies and Regulations, including those related equality and diversity.

1.4 The University has developed a specific Dignity at Work and Study Policy for students and employees. A network of Respect Advisers operates on the campus to support students and employees alleging bullying and harassment.

1.5 The University expects that contractors and suppliers will behave with dignity and respect towards students and staff. However, where complaints of bullying, harassment or discriminatory remarks are alleged, the University has a duty to investigate the allegation.

2. Responsibility

Students, employees, contractors and suppliers should demonstrate respect for all parties in their dealings.

Students, employees, contractors and suppliers should take responsibility for their own actions and decisions.

3. Lodging complaint

Complaints will be handled in accordance with the University's Complaints Procedure. It is therefore important that the complainant seeks to note the time and place of the alleged incident, and if possible note the name of the contractor. Please note for the purposes of this procedure the Students' Representative Council and student unions are not considered contractors and are independent from the University.

4. Dealing with complaint(s)

4.1 The University will inform the appropriate contractor and/ or supplier about the complaint received.

4.2 The University will investigate the matter in accordance with the Complaints Procedure (see Section 5).

4.3 The complainant and the alleged harasser will receive a decision in writing from the University as soon as the investigation is complete.

4.4 Where a serious incident takes place (for example physical assault) then the matter may be referred to the police, after seeking advice from the University Security Service. The University may invoke its right to suspend work until the contractor and/ or supplier can provide evidence that possible precautionary actions have taken place to prevent harm and violation to the University community (staff and students).

5. Procedure

5.1 The University will take action which may:

  • require an investigation
  • resolve the matter without the need for investigation
  • require urgent action being taken before any investigation is conducted

5.2 The individual should be prepared to provide the following information:

  • a description of what happened
  • the date and place of the occurrence
  • the people involved
  • relevant documents (notes, signs, letters) or names of witnesses.

5.3 Possible outcomes include the decision to:

  • take no further action, because the complaint is not founded, or there is insufficient evidence
  • uphold the complaint and inform the contractor and/ or supplier about the outcome
  • work with the contractor and/ or supplier to remove the offending worker(s)
  • ensure that the contractor and/ or supplier provides evidence of appropriate training and policy put in place as a result, to prevent repeat of such behaviour
  • invoke the University’s formal disciplinary procedure against the complainant if the complaint is found to be vexatious or malicious
  • terminate the contract where gross misconduct/ negligence is proven.