Anti-harassment and anti-bullying policy

Our commitment

10 Degrees is committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming work environment free of harassment and bullying, where everyone can achieve their potential. Our employees have the right to enjoy a work environment free from harassment, bullying, and victimisation and feel empowered to raise challenges and make complaints if they experience any behaviour that falls below this standard.

Policy scope

This policy covers bullying and harassment and applies to managers, employees, contractors, agency staff, and anyone else we engage in working for us, including the workplace (including virtual settings), in any work-related setting outside the workplace (e.g. business trips), work-related social events, and on social media.

If the complainant or alleged harasser is not employed by us, we will apply this policy with any necessary modifications.


Bullying – is any offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, and/or an abuse or misuse of power that is meant to undermine, humiliate or injure the recipient.

Harassment – is any unwanted conduct related to protected characteristics, including but not limited to sex, gender reassignment (i.e. transgender status), race (which includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief and age, that:

Sexual harassment – is any unwanted verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature, which makes the recipient feel intimidated, degraded or humiliated, or that creates a hostile or offensive environment.

Bullying and harassment is covered in UK law by acts such as the Sex Discrimination Act, the Race Relations Act, the Disability Discrimination Act, and the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, as well as the laws of common assault.

Victimisation – is subjecting a person to harassment as a result of making a complaint (either formally or otherwise) against another individual.

Protected characteristics – it is against UK law to discriminate against someone because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation. These are called protected characteristics and are protected from discrimination under the UK Equality Act 2010

Conduct – may be harassment whether or not the person behaving in that way intends to offend. Different people find different things acceptable and everyone has the right to decide what behaviour is acceptable to them and to have their feelings respected by others.

Behaviour that any reasonable person would realise would be likely to offend will be harassment without the recipient having to make it clear in advance that behaviour of that type is not acceptable to them. It may not be so clear that some other forms of behaviour would be unwelcome, or could offend. In these cases, first-time conduct that unintentionally causes offence will not be harassment but it will become harassment if the conduct continues after the recipient has made it clear, by words or conduct, that the behaviour is unacceptable to them.

Sexual misconduct – Sexual misconduct can range from sex or sexual harassment to workplace relationships with an imbalance of power or status and/or issues of consent

A person may feel harassed even if the unwanted conduct is not directed towards them or related to their actual or perceived protected characteristic.

There may also be circumstances in which an individual is subjected to unwanted conduct from a third party, such as a client or customer. If you feel that you have been bullied or harassed by customers, suppliers, vendors, or visitors, you should report the behaviour to your manager who will take appropriate action. Bullying or harassment of customers, suppliers, vendors or visitors, or others will be dealt with through the disciplinary procedure. A single incident can be harassment if it is sufficiently serious.

Examples of bullying and harassment

Examples include, but are not limited to::

Our policy on harassment and bullying

At 10 Degrees, will not tolerate bullying and harassment of any kind. All allegations of bullying and harassment will be investigated and, if appropriate, disciplinary action will be taken. We will also not tolerate a person being victimised for making allegations of bullying or harassment in good faith or supporting someone to make such a complaint.

Harassment and bullying can have very serious consequences for individuals and for our organisation. We recognise that harassment and bullying may affect the mental health of our employees, cause stress, affect family and social relationships, affect work performance, or cause employees to leave our employment. Effects on our organisation can also include loss of morale, poor work performance, increased staff turnover, legal claims, and damage to our reputation.

All proven cases of bullying and harassment are considered as gross misconduct and will be treated as a disciplinary offence, dealt with under our Disciplinary Policy. Employees who harass or bully others will face disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. They may be personally liable to pay compensation in legal claims. Serious harassment may be a criminal offence.

We will consider any aggravating factors that may play a part in any harassment when deciding on the appropriate disciplinary sanction.

What should I do if I think I am being bullied, harassed, or victimised?

We encourage anyone who believes that they have been harassed or victimised to come forward and share their experiences and concerns with us. To facilitate this, we have robust procedures designed to assist our employees to have open conversations, engage in dispute resolution, and, where appropriate, implement a disciplinary process. 

Provided that you act in good faith, i.e. you genuinely believe that what you are saying is true, you have a right not to be victimised. We recognise that fear of victimisation can put people off reporting harassment and we will always, therefore, take appropriate action to deal with any alleged victimisation, including disciplinary action.

Making a complaint that you know to be untrue, or giving evidence that you know to be untrue, may lead to disciplinary action being taken against you.

How we respond to complaints

Our process for dealing with matters of harassment and bullying are outlined in our grievance policy: Grievance and disciplinary policy

Please also refer to our whistleblowing policy: Whistleblowing policy

What can I do to help stop bullying and harassment?

We all have a responsibility to create and maintain a work environment free of bullying, harassment, and victimisation and treat our colleagues with dignity and respect.

You can help to do this by:

Managers have a particular responsibility to:

What happens if I am accused of bullying or harassment?

If someone approaches you informally about your behaviour, do not dismiss the complaint out of hand because you were only joking, or think the complainant is being too sensitive. Remember that different people find different things acceptable and everyone has the right to decide what behaviour is acceptable to them and to have their feelings respected by others.

You may have offended someone without intending to. If that is the case, the person concerned may be satisfied with an explanation and an apology from you and an assurance that you will be careful in the future not to behave in a way that you now know may cause offence.

Should a formal complaint be made about your behaviour, we will refer to our grievance process: Grievance and disciplinary policy. The complaint will be held in the strictest confidence during and after the grievance process.

Some types of bullying or harassment may constitute unlawful discrimination and allegations may give rise to the possibility of other civil claims or criminal proceedings against you, which would proceed independently of our disciplinary proceedings. You could be personally liable to pay compensation to the complainant if a successful claim in the employment tribunal or other courts was brought against you. Criminal proceedings could lead to conviction and criminal penalties.

Making this policy work

10 Degrees will review this policy annually, and ensure all existing and new members of the team are trained in its contents. Updates to this policy will be shared with the team when they occur.