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Hotel Staff Bullying and Sexual Harassment Policy Sample


Bullying and harassment of employees, whether by colleagues or management, is a serious matter, and one that is not always easily recognised. The sample policy detailed below has been designed to assist in both the identification of incidents of bullying and harassment and in dealing with such incidents once a complaint has been received.


The Hotel management will make every effort to ensure that its work environment gives all staff the freedom to do their work without having to suffer harassment or bullying from any source. All employees should be aware that harassment or bullying is unacceptable behaviour and is in breach of Hotels or the management policy.

Present-day changes of attitude mean that behaviour once tolerated by colleagues is no longer acceptable. Behaviour that is acceptable to one person may not be acceptable to another. If the behaviour is unwelcome and unacceptable, then it is a problem. Whether the harasser intended it to be offensive is not the point. If the behaviour is unwelcome it is harassment. The Hotel management will not tolerate harassment of employees from employees, nor at any level in the organisation or third parties.

Under this policy harassment includes:

  • Harassment on grounds of Gender

  • Harassment on grounds of Sexual orientation

  • Harassment on grounds of Disability

  • Harassment on grounds Race/Ethnic Origin

  • Harassment on grounds of Religion

  • Harassment on grounds of Age/Marital status/ Family Status/ Member of the travelling community.

  • General Harassment or Bullying

1. Definitions of Harassment:

Sexual Harassment is defined as unwanted conduct based on a person’s gender which is offensive to the recipient, and which might threaten a persons job security or create a stressful, hostile or intimidating work environment.

While it is generally regarded that sexual harassment is an offence committed by men against women, the evidence of recent years shows that men are also victims of this form of maltreatment.

Sexual Harassment takes various forms, for example:

  • Verbal – jokes, innuendo, requests for sexual favours, persisting in attempts to continue a relationship against the wishes of the other person.

  • Visual – display of or sending offensive pictures, slogans

  • Physical – unwanted physical contact, from “groping” to rape.

  • Other - Harassment on grounds of sexual orientation may take several forms, from jokes and innuendo to serious physical assault and may include a person’s perceived rather than actual sexual orientation.

Harassment by Hotel Staff may include:

Verbal harassment – offensive jokes about a person’s race or ethnic origin (which may include members of the travelling community), or their country of origin.

Visual Harassment – display of material offensive to a particular racial or ethnic group, such as cartoons, racial propaganda material etc

Physical Harassment – physical assault

2. Definition of Bullying:

Bullying is repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individuals’ right to dignity at work.

An isolated incident of the behaviour described in this definition may be an affront to dignity at work but as a once-off incident is not considered to be bullying.

The following are some examples of bullying behaviour:

  • Personal insults or name-calling.

  • Public or private humiliation.

  • Shouting at staff in public and/or private.

  • Aggression, sneering, sarcasm.

  • Persistently undermining an individual’s job performance.

  • Constantly changing working guidelines.

  • Making it difficult for staff to have access to general information, e.g. staff vacancy notices or staff information notices.

  • Continually refusing reasonable requests for Annual Leave without good reason.

  • Ignoring and isolating people on purpose and excluding them from discussions.

  • Intimidation and threats in general.

3. Effects of Harassment in Hotel Staff:

  • Cause distress and affect the employee’s confidence and self-esteem.

  • Affect the recipient’s job performance.

  • Create an upsetting and stressful work environment.

  • A decrease in staff morale.

  • Undermine the recipient’s job security.

  • Affect productivity levels.

4. Locations where harassment can take place:

  • In the workplace.

  • In the public area.

  • In the staff locker.

  • In the guest room.

  • In the Gym, Spa, Swimming pool and other recreational areas.

  • Restaurant and F&B Outlets.

  • Back of the house areas etc.

  • At functions for staff such as Staff parties, Annual day, Company Outing or sports functions taking place under the aegis of the Hotel management.

  • Any other place where employees are present on Hotel management business, Outdoor catering, trade shows, events, training courses, business meetings away from the Hotel management’s workplace, overnights away from the employed unit etc.

5. Dealing With Malicious Harassment Complaints

Malicious complaints will be treated seriously and may result in disciplinary action. In this regard, it should be noted that where a complaint is not upheld, this does not necessarily indicate that the complaint was malicious.

Responsibilities of Staff and Management:

Employees: In addition to securing their own behaviour does not cause problems, all employees have an important role in creating an environment where sexual harassment or bullying is unacceptable. They should make clear to others they find such behaviour unacceptable and support colleagues suffering such treatment.

Supervisors: In addition to securing their own behaviour does not cause problems, supervisors are responsible for preventing incidents of sexual harassment or bullying and must ensure that all staff members adhere to Hotel policy. Supervisors who become aware of incidents of sexual harassment are required to immediately advise their Manager.

Management: In addition to ensuring their own behaviour does not cause problems, the management  team should:

  • Know the Hotel management policy.

  • Communicate the policy as necessary.

  • Endeavour to maintain a harassment-free work environment.

  • Immediately inform one of the contact people if a complaint is received.

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Authored and managed by Augustine, a hotelier with over 20 years of experience in the industry. He has a 3-year diploma with 'honors' from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute and a Bachelor of Computer Application - BCA Degree.