If staff at UiB are subjected to harassment
What do I do if I am being subjected to inappropriate behaviour or harassment, or witness others being subjected to it?
UiB has guidelines for how harassment should be reported and followed up.
If you are subjected to harassment, please report it to your immediate manager, another manager, or the safety representative. The safety representative is the employees' representative in matters pertaining to the work environment. It can also be a good idea to make your own notes where you describe the event(s). Note the time and place, what happened and how you reacted.
If you are unsure, or do not wish to pursue a formal complaint, you can contact your union representative, the Occupational Health Service or the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority in order to discuss the matter informally and confidentially. You can also make a report if you witness other people being subjected to harassment.
What is harassment?
Harassment can occur in many different ways, with bullying and sexual harassment being the best known forms. Harassment is usually actions that are repeated over time, but serious individual events can also be defined as harassment. Sexual harassment can be both physical, verbal and non-verbal (body language) and can include everything from sexual comments to unwanted touching and rape. For something to be sexual harassment, the attention must be unwanted.
There is a thin line between sexual harassment and the exploitation of an asymmetric relationship, such as between teacher and student or between manager and employee, to initiate a flirt or sexual relationship. What one party perceives as voluntary, can be perceived by the other party as difficult to reject due to the asymmetry in the power relationship.
The rights and obligations of UiB employees
- All employees have the right to be treated with respect and dignity, and to have to a working environment free from bullying, harassment and discrimination.
- Abuse of power will not be tolerated.
- Employees have the right to complain about managers and other employees if they feel that they are being exposed to bullying or other forms of unacceptable behaviour.
- All employees have an obligation to treat others in accordance with these standards and values.
- The relationship between students and employees is asymmetric. It is the employees who have the responsibility not to abuse their position of power.
Other useful links:
- UiB’s guidelines for notification (whistle blowing)
- Ethical guidelines for the student-supervisor relationship
- The Working Environment Act Chapter 2 A: Notification (whistle blowing) (only in Norwegian)
- The Working Environment Act, Sections 4-3: Requirements for the psychosocial working environment (only in Norwegian)