MS Action a disability therapy centre, helping adults and children who have Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Brain Injury and other Neurological conditions. It provides complementary and mainstream therapies to it's members and; their carers.

Bullying and Harassment Policy

1. INTRODUCTION

MS Action - Complaints Policy & Procedures

Effective Date: 1st May 2024

At MS Action, we are committed to maintaining a safe and inclusive environment for everyone involved with our Centre, including employees, volunteers, members and associates. We believe that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect, and we take any allegation of bullying or harassment very seriously. This policy outlines our stance on bullying and harassment and how we will deal with any complaints.

Definitions 

Bullying
: Bullying refers to any repeated, unwanted aggressive behaviour that intends to harm, intimidate, or humiliate an individual physically, emotionally, or socially. It may include actions such as name-calling, spreading rumours, unfair treatment, verbal or written abuse, physical aggression, or online harassment. 

Harassment:
Harassment refers to any unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, written, or physical, that is based on a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. Protected characteristics under the Act are:
age
sex
disability
gender reassignment
marriage and civil partnership
pregnancy and maternity
race
religion or belief
sexual orientation

While bullying is not illegal, harassment is.

Scope of this policy

This policy applies to all individuals involved with MS Action, including but not limited to, employees, volunteers, members and associates, Committee members/trustees, donors, beneficiaries, contractors, and anyone representing the organisation in any capacity.

Reporting Procedure

Reporting Incidents: Any individual who believes they have been subjected to bullying or harassment, or who witnesses such behaviour, should report the incident immediately to either the office manager or, a member of the Committee/trustee. Where an employee feels that they are being bullied or harassed, they should use MS Action’s grievance procedure. 

Confidentiality
: All reports of bullying or harassment will be treated confidentially as far as possible. However, it should be noted that a thorough investigation might require disclosure of information to relevant parties on a need-to-know basis. 

Non-Retaliation
: MS Action takes very seriously any retaliation against anyone who reports an incident of bullying or harassment in good faith. Retaliation against complainants, witnesses, or anyone participating in the investigation process will be subject to disciplinary action in the case of employees or being asked to stay away from the Centre in the case of volunteers, members or associates.

Investigation and Resolution

Prompt Investigation: All reports of bullying or harassment will be investigated quickly and thoroughly. The investigation will be conducted in a fair, objective, and confidential manner. Individuals involved in the investigation will receive appropriate support and protection. MS Actions Complaints Policy and procedures will be followed in terms of the investigation and right of appeal.

Remedial Action: If it is determined that bullying or harassment has taken place by a member of staff, appropriate disciplinary action could be taken, which may range from counselling and education to warnings, suspension, termination, or other remedies deemed appropriate by MS Action. Where it is determined that bullying or harassment has taken place by a volunteer, a member or associate or member of the Committee/trustee, appropriate action could be taken ranging from warnings, cancellation of their membership or being asked to relinquish their role as volunteer or member of the Committee/trustee.

In the most serious of cases of bullying or harassment, MS Action reserves the right to notify the Charity Commission. Employees, volunteers and anyone involved with the Centre are also able to report alleged bullying or harassment to the Charity Commission.

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