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Equality and Diversity

Bullying and Harassment

What do we mean by bullying and harassment?

Sometimes people are unsure whether the behaviour that they are experiencing would be considered bullying or harassment.

Bullying is behaviour, usually repeated over time, where there is a deliberate intention to hurt or humiliate. It can happen in many forms including the use of written communications, phone conversations and supervision methods.

Harassment relates to unwanted conduct, which affects or violates a person’s dignity. Or when a person, or groups’ behaviour creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.

Our Respect at Work and Study Policies provide more detail on what could be considered bullying and harassment behaviours.

Respect at Work and Study: Policies and Procedures

At Durham, we want all our staff and students to be treated with dignity and respect.

Respect at Work

Our Respect at Work Policy is an important part of our approach towards supporting the wellbeing of our employees. The purpose of it is to ensure that any behaviour that can be construed as harassment or bullying is prevented. Where it does occur, the policy aims to make sure that appropriate and effective action is taken to prevent any recurrence.

It also outlines the responsibilities of all staff and managers, and sets out how grievances under the policy are managed.

The Respect at Work Policy:

  • Is available for members of staff that are experiencing bullying and harassment in the workplace
  • Describes standards of behaviour that are expected from staff
  • Provides advice to staff on dealing with bullying and harassment.

Respect at Study

Our Respect at Study Policy provides information on our approach to supporting students. It has the same aims as our Respect at Work Policy, but provides information and advice on how to report any behaviour that can be construed as bullying and harassment as a student.

Bullying and Harassment Network

We have a network of bully and harassment contacts that can assist staff and students with enquiries, and provide information on University policies and sources of help and support.

The network acts as a first point of contact for those who feel they have experienced, or have been accused of, harassment or bullying. Contact officers are able to provide impartial, confidential guidance to help people to understand what options and services are available to them.

Our network is made up of volunteers from across both academic and professional support staff within the University. All have received training to support them to undertake this role. A list of contacts is available on the website below, where you can find out more about their location and how to get in touch. More formal advice on options available to staff experiencing bullying and harassment is also available from our HR Advisors.

If you would like to know more about the work of the network please contact the EDI Team

Rachel joined the University earlier this year as lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. She has been an influential lead of the equalities agenda in her previous roles at Newcastle City Council and Durham County Council. She has a background in equalities law and is a passionate advocate for promoting fairness and inclusion.

Jen joined the University in 2004, she has held various positions in Student Recruitment and Admissions. Jen’s current role of student recruitment officer, involves working with teachers across the country. While working at Durham Jen has completed a degree in Business Management and Administration. Previous to working for the University she worked at New College Durham in the Purchasing department.

Originally a maths graduate from Newcastle University, Neil has been working as a project manager for the Centre for Evaluation & Monitoring (CEM), an educational research group within Durham University, for more than 20 years. He has been a Harassment Contact for more than 10 years.

Caroline joined the University in 2009 and works in the salaries section of Finance, based in the Mountjoy centre. After leaving University where she studied Religion and History, she worked in a small local business responsible for accounts and payroll.

An MBA graduate from Newcastle Business School, Linda is Category Manager with responsibility for Catering, Domestic and Furniture categories. Linda is Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (MCIPS) qualified and has worked at the University since 2005.

Stuart joined the University in November 1998 and is now the Configuration and Asset Manager for Hardware, which involves the long term planning for the refresh of all the PCs within the University, and also accounting for all equipment (IT related) for the University, from setting up contracts to major purchasing. Stuart is the Departmental Health and Safety Officer and Harassment Contact (for 13 years) and qualified as a First Aider.

Gemma is a Research Grants and Contracts Officer in the Research Operations Team in Research and Innovation Services. Gemma joined the University in October 2013 working in the Business School. Previous to this she completed a Sociology PhD. at Newcastle University.

Michelle joined Durham University in October 2013 and is currently the Equality & Diversity Trainer. This role includes identifying equality and diversity training requirements, and designing and implementing a range of training and development events with an equality and diversity focus. She has previously worked in both the private sector in a variety of management roles, and as a Lecturer in Management in HE.

Carol Walker has worked at Maiden Castle in many sport-related roles since joining the University in 1996. She currently works with the Dean of Experience Durham and the Head of Sport assisting with the management and delivery of projects in the areas of sport, music and theatre. Carol is also a member of the University Coaching Network.

Network Contacts

We are welcoming new members to the Network this September and contact details will be available at the start of the academic year.

New members include:

  • Beth Bromley from Science
  • Tim Buckle from Libraries
  • Mark Callaghan from EDI team
  • Alex Harrington from Arts and Humanaties
  • Louise Herron from EDI team
  • Jonny Imber from Science
  • Jane McNaughton from Social Sciences and Health
  • Bradley Skeen from Procurement

Sexual Violence and Misconduct: Prevention and Response

You can find information on our approach to dealing with and, supporting people who may have experienced sexual violence at:

Or you can contact: Clarissa Humphreys, Student Support and Training Officer (Sexual Violence & Misconduct);


Rachel Archbold, Equality and Diversity Manager,01913346761

Mark Callaghan, Equality and Diversity Officer, 01913346763

Louise Herron, Equality and Diversity Assistant, 019133 46522;

Michelle Taylor, Equality and Diversity Trainer, 01913346494;