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NewsleTERRE, Issue 03
March 2019

Sexual Harassment Policy

The Policy Statement

TERRE Policy Centre is committed to providing a safe environment for all its employees free fromdiscrimination on any ground and from harassment at work including sexual harassment. TERRE Policy Centre will operate a zero-tolerance policy for any form of sexual harassment in the workplace,treat all incidents seriously and promptly investigate all allegations of sexual harassment. Any personfound to have sexually harassed another will face disciplinary action, up to and including dismissalfrom employment.
All complaints of sexual harassment will be taken seriously and treated with respect and in confidence.
No one will be victimised for making such a complaint.

Definition of sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which makes a person feel offended,humiliated and/or intimidated. It includes situations where a person is asked to engage in sexualactivity as a condition of that person's employment, as well as situations which create an environmentwhich is hostile, intimidating or humiliating for the recipient.
Sexual harassment can involve one or more incidents and actions constituting harassment may bephysical, verbal and non-verbal. Examples of conduct or behaviour which constitute sexualharassment include, but are not limited to:

Physical conduct

  • Unwelcome physical contact including patting, pinching, stroking, kissing, hugging,
  • fondling, or inappropriate touching
  • Physical violence, including sexual assault
  • Physical contact, e.g. touching, pinching
  • The use of job-related threats or rewards to solicit sexual favours

Verbal conduct

  • Comments on a worker's appearance, age, private life, etc.
  • Sexual comments, stories and jokes
  • Sexual advances
  • Repeated and unwanted social invitations for dates or physical intimacy
  • Insults based on the sex of the worker
  • Condescending or paternalistic remarks
  • Sending sexually explicit messages (by phone or by email)

Non-verbal conduct

  • Display of sexually explicit or suggestive material
  • Sexually suggestive gestures
  • Whistling
  • Leering

Anyone can be a victim of sexual harassment, regardless of their sex and of the sex of the harasser. TERRE Policy Centre recognises that sexual harassment may also occur between people of the samesex. What matters is that the sexual conduct is unwanted and unwelcome by the person against whomthe conduct is directed.

TERRE Policy Centre recognises that sexual harassment is a manifestation of power relationships andoften occurs within unequal relationships in the workplace, for example between manager orsupervisor and employee.
Anyone, including employees of [company name], clients, customers, casual workers, contractors orvisitors who sexually harasses another will be reprimanded in accordance with this internal policy.
All sexual harassment is prohibited whether it takes place within TERRE Policy Centre premises or outside,including at social events, business trips, training sessions or conferences sponsored by TERRE Policy Centre.

Complaints procedures

Anyone who is subject to sexual harassment should, if possible, inform the alleged harasser that theconduct is unwanted and unwelcome. TERRE Policy Centre recognises that sexual harassment may occurin unequal relationships (i.e. between a supervisor and his/her employee) and that it may not bepossible for the victim to inform the alleged harasser.
If a victim cannot directly approach an alleged harasser, he/she can approach one of the designatedstaff members responsible for receiving complaints of sexual harassment. This person could beanother supervisor, a member of the human resources department, etc.
When a designated person receives a complaint of sexual harassment, he/she will:

  • immediately record the dates, times and facts of the incident(s)
  • ascertain the views of the victim as to what outcome he/she wants
  • ensure that the victim understands the company's procedures for dealing with the complaint
  • discuss and agree the next steps: either informal or formal complaint, on the understandingthat choosing to resolve the matter informally does not preclude the victim from pursuing aformal complaint if he/she is not satisfied with the outcome
  • keep a confidential record of all discussions
  • respect the choice of the victim
  • ensure that the victim knows that they can lodge the complaint outside of the companythrough the relevant country/legal framework

Throughout the complaint's procedure, a victim is entitled to be helped by a counsellor within the company. TERRE Policy Centre will nominate a number of counsellors and provide them with special training to enable them to assist victims of sexual harassment. TERRE Policy Centre recognises that because sexual harassment often occurs in unequal relationships within the workplace, victims often feel that they cannot come forward. TERRE Policy Centre understands the need to support victims in making complaints.

Informal complaints mechanism

If the victim wishes to deal with the matter informally, the designated person will:

  • give an opportunity to the alleged harasser to respond to the complaint
  • ensure that the alleged harasser understands the complaints mechanism
  • facilitate discussion between both parties to achieve an informal resolution which is
  • acceptable to the complainant, or refer the matter to a designated mediator within the
  • company to resolve the matter
  • ensure that a confidential record is kept of what happens
  • follow up after the outcome of the complaints mechanism to ensure that the behaviour hasstopped
  • ensure that the above is done speedily and within [...] days of the complaint being made

Formal complaints mechanism

If the victim wants to make a formal complaint or if the informal complaint mechanism has not led toa satisfactory outcome for the victim, the formal complaint mechanism should be used to resolve thematter.
The designated person who initially received the complaint will refer the matter to a senior humanresources manager to instigate a formal investigation. The senior human resources manager may dealwith the matter him/herself, refer the matter to an internal or external investigator or refer it to acommittee of three others in accordance with this policy [Choose what options are most appropriatefor the company].
The person carrying out the investigation will:

  • interview the victim and the alleged harasser separately
  • interview other relevant third parties separately
  • decide whether or not the incident(s) of sexual harassment took place
  • produce a report detailing the investigations, findings and any recommendations
  • if the harassment took place, decide what the appropriate remedy for the victim is, in
  • consultation with the victim (i.e.- an apology, a change to working arrangements, a promotionif the victim was demoted as a result of the harassment, training for the harasser, discipline,suspension, dismissal)
  • follow up to ensure that the recommendations are implemented, that the behaviour hasstopped, and that the victim is satisfied with the outcome
  • if it cannot determine that the harassment took place, he/she may still makerecommendations to ensure proper functioning of the workplace
  • keep a record of all actions taken
  • ensure that the all records concerning the matter are kept confidential
  • ensure that the process is done as quickly as possible and in any event within [...] days of the complaint being made

Outside complaints mechanisms

A person who has been subject to sexual harassment can also make a complaint outside of the
company. They can do so through [insert mechanism depending on country/legal framework - i.e.employment tribunal, ombudsperson, etc].
Sanctions and disciplinary measures
Anyone who has been found to have sexually harassed another person under the terms of this policyis liable to any of the following sanctions:

  • verbal or written warning
  • adverse performance evaluation
  • reduction in wages
  • transfer
  • demotion
  • suspension
  • dismissal

The nature of the sanctions will depend on the gravity and extent of the harassment. Suitable deterrent sanctions will be applied to ensure that incidents of sexual harassment are not treated astrivial. Certain serious cases, including physical violence, will result in the immediate dismissal of theharasser.

Implementation of this policy

TERRE Policy Centre will ensure that this policy is widely disseminated to all relevant persons. It willbe included in the staff handbook. All new employees must be trained on the content of this policyas part of their induction into the company. Every year, TERRE Policy Centre will require all employees to attend a refresher training course on thecontent of this policy.
It is the responsibility of every manager to ensure that all his/her employees are aware of the policy.

Monitoring and evaluation

TERRE Policy Centre recognises the importance of monitoring this sexual harassment policy and willensure that it anonymously collects statistics and data as to how it is used and whether or not it iseffective.
Supervisors, managers and those responsible for dealing with sexual harassment cases will report oncompliance with this policy, including the number of incidents, how they were dealt with, and anyrecommendations made. This will be done on a yearly basis. As a result of this report, the companywill evaluate the effectiveness of this policy and make any changes needed.

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