Childcare Office

Dealing with Harassment

Cambridge Universities' Holiday Playscheme (CUHP) is committed to promoting fairness towards all Playworkers, students, volunteers, children and parents. We fully and wholeheartedly adhere to both the spirit and detail of the Equality Act 2010 and associated legislation, which outlaw discrimination against anyone on grounds of the protected characteristics:

Preventing Harassment and Discrimination

Proactive steps can be taken to prevent harassment and discrimination, and CUHP believes that this is more effective than tackling a situation once it has already occurred. Therefore, alongside the procedures outlined later in this policy to deal with incidents of harassment and discrimination including perceptive or associated discrimination, CUHP will:

  • Ensure that all children are valued, irrespective of Protected Characteristics.
  • Encourage individuals to treat each other with respect, regardless of Protected Characteristics.
  • Acknowledge the existence of discriminatory harassment in society and take steps to promote harmonious relations in our community.
  • Promote good relations within CUHP and in the wider community.
  • Ensure that different needs are met, understood and communicated to all individuals involved in CUHP.

Examples of Harassment and Discrimination

Harassment and discrimination can manifest itself in a variety of ways, some overt and others much less so. Some examples of unacceptable behaviour include:

  • The use of patronising words or actions towards an individual or group– including for example name-calling, racial or homophobic jokes and insults.
  • Threats made against a person or group of people because of any protected characteristic.
  • Written abuse or the distribution of insulting or offensive literature.
  • Physical assault or abuse against a person or group of people because of a Protected Characteristic.

Addressing Harassment and Discrimination

If a Playworker or a child becomes aware of an incident of harassment or discrimination occurring at CUHP, they will be encouraged to report the incident to the Playscheme Co-ordinator/Site Co-ordinator.

Any allegation made against a Playworker or a child will be investigated thoroughly. Where appropriate, the individuals concerned will be involved in discussion about why such behaviour cannot be tolerated. CUHP will make every effort to support all those involved in the incident and find ways to increase understanding.

Each incident will be fully investigated and details will be recorded. In the case of children, incidents will be reported to their parents and a course of action agreed upon to resolve the situation, in accordance with the provisions of the Behaviour Management policy. However, if a solution cannot be found and the child continues to be abusive, then CUHP may have to inform the child—and their parent—that they are no longer able to attend sessions at CUHP, in accordance with the Behaviour Management policy.

In the case of Playworkers, provisions within the Staff Disciplinary Procedures policy will be activated and a record of the incident will be kept and made available to statutory authorities as appropriate.

The Playscheme Co-ordinator is responsible for ensuring that all incidents are handled both professionally and sensitively. All incidents will be kept confidential within CUHP. In cases where the Playscheme Co-ordinator is involved in an allegation, the Manager of Childcare Services will handle the process regarding the incident.

In all cases, continued harassment or discrimination by any individual will result in exclusion from CUHP, where all other efforts have failed to provide a satisfactorily resolution.

The Cambridge Universities' Holiday Playscheme as an Employer

As an employer, CUHP is committed to ensuring that the workforce reflects the multicultural community that it serves. To this end, CUHP will:

  • When the need for advertising arises, CUHP will advertise job vacancies in a variety of media sources and outlets and in a variety of places.
  • Ensure that CUHP's Human Resource procedures prohibit discrimination and harassment, and investigate any concerns when this is suspected of failing.
  • Investigate any allegation of discrimination or harassment according to the provisions of the Staff Disciplinary Procedures and Behaviour Management policies.
  • Collect and monitor information about the ethnic background of the Playwork team and children.

Policy reviewed 21 December 2011.