Anti-Harassment Policy

Adopted by the EDF executive Committee, November 2018 - Revised in November 2019 and changes approved by Executive Committee 

Introduction

EDF is committed to providing a safe environment for all its employees, members and attendees, free from harassment on any ground in the workplace: the workplace includes, but is not limited to, EDF governing body meetings, committees, events, email groups, and project activities.  

EDF will operate a zero-tolerance policy for any form of harassment in the workplace, treat all incidents seriously, and promptly investigate all allegations of harassment. Any person found to have harassed another will face disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from employment or from EDFs membership. All complaints of harassment will be taken seriously and treated with respect and confidentially. The gendered nature of sexual harassment, as a form of harassment affecting predominantly women, is recognised and taken into account by EDF.

Disciplinary action, for breaching this policy includes:

  • Verbal warning
  • Written warning
  • Dismissal, in the case of grave, persistent or repeated offences
  • Exclusion from EDF workplace

All EDF staff members are bound by the workplace regulation, which they read on signing their employment contracts. Protection from harassement is outlined in article 12 and Annex 2:

L’employeur, les travailleurs et toutes les autres personnes qui entrent en contact avec les travailleurs lors de l’exécution de leur travail sont tenus de s’abstenir de tout fait de violence, harcèlement moral ou sexuel au travail. La violence et le harcèlement moral ou sexuel font partie intégrale des risques psychosociaux.

À cette fin, les travailleurs doivent s’abstenir de tout acte de violence, harcèlement moral ou sexuel, et conformément à leur formation et aux instructions données par l'employeur contribuer de manière positive à la politique de prévention mise en place dans le cadre de la prévention des risques psychosociaux. Ils doivent également s'abstenir de tout abus de l'intervention psychosociale formelle et informelle décrite ci-dessous et  de la procédure interne en particulier [décrite dans ce document].

La victime d’un harcèlement physique, verbal et non-verbal peut recevoir de l’aide ou des conseils auprès de la Cellule Harcèlement du CESI, av Konrad Adenauer 8 B-1220 Bruxelles, tél : 027611774, fax : 027700063, email : harcelement@cesi.be

Tout travailleur qui s’estimerait victime d’un harcèlement physique, verbal et non-verbal, quel qu’en soit l’auteur, a le droit de porter plainte auprès de Muriel Da Via, membre du personnel et Gunta Anca, membre du Comité exécutif, chargé des questions du personnel. 

The legal definition of harassment application under Belgian law is: ‘any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical behavior with a sexual connotation that has the purpose or effect of compromising the dignity or creating a threatening, hostile, abusive, humiliating or hurtful environment’ (art. 32ter, 3° Law on Well-being).

In the application of its anti-harassment policy, EDF understands harassment as all forms of behaviours with the purpose or effect to demean, humiliate, or embarass a person in the workplace, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, bullying and cyber-bullying.

EDF measures in prevention

. EDF HR manager keeps this policy updated according to the Belgian law and best practice

2. HR manager, EDF Secretary and other staff members interested follow a training concerning harassment

3. All staff members are reminded annually of the workplace regulations, and who to address in the case of a concern: firstly, the Director or the HR Manager, and if the person prefers, the EDF Secretary

4. The EDF Board and membership, and our project partners are made aware of this policy and reminded of its importance

5. All new staff and EDF members are informed of this policy

6. All EDF members, partners and third parties are made aware of the policy as it is published on the EDF website

7. Any staff member who faces, witnesses or is reported harassment should notify the Director/ HR Manager or EDF Secretary- this can be done in strict confidence

8. EDF will ensure that procedures to file a complaint with EDF are accessible (for example, request sign language interpretation where needed)

EDF measures in the case of a complaint:

Internal procedure for EDF staff

  1. The staff member concerned may request an informal conversation with their line manager, the HR Manager, Director, or the EDF Secretary;
  2. The complaint can be documented by the staff member concerned and in this case, filed by the Director or the HR Manager in a confidential folder;
  3. The EDF Secretary and the President are informed if the staff member concerned agrees;
  4. If a staff member is accused of harassment the accusation is investigated by the Director, the HR Manager or EDF Secretary in the form of a discussion and email exchange as needed;
  5. In the case that harassment is confirmed, the staff member/perpetrator receives a verbal and written warning;
  6. If the staff member who has made the complaint agrees, a meeting is organised to discuss the issue and resolve it through dialogue, if possible.;
  7. If there are persistent breaches of this policy, or repeated or grave episodes of harassment, the staff members concerned may be dismissed;
  8.  In case of a criminal offence, the police will be informed- this policy should never replace our obligation to report a crime.

Internal procedure concerning EDF members, including elected officials, committee members and project partners

  1. If an EDF member or partner (including EDF elected official or committee members), is accused of harassment the accusation is investigated the Secretary in the form of a discussion and email exchange as needed;
  2. In the case that harassment has taken place, the EDF member or partner will receive a verbal and written warning;
  3.  If deemed appropriate, a meeting is organised to discuss the issue and resolve it through dialogue if possible;
  4. If there are persistent breaches of this policy, or repeated episodes of harassment, the issues will be referred to the Executive who may choose to prevent the member/ partner from attending EDF events and meetings;
  5. In case of a criminal offence, the police will be informed- this procedure should never replace our obligation to report a crime.

External procedure for EDF staff

  1. The staff member concerned also has the possibility to seek assistance externally: personal contact with prevention advisor (this is also in strict confidence) or a formal psychosocial intervention from CESI, external service of prevention and protection at work (https://www.cesi.be/). They will then follow the procedure outlined in Annex 2 of the work regulations. The internal procedure described here does not replace the external procedure involving CESI.
  2. Other competent agencies can be contacted if needed: Institute for the Equality of Women and Men (https://igvm-iefh.belgium.be/en): the Institute supports victims of harassment, consults with the prevention advisor and can take the case to court. These measures are taken with agreement of the complainant; The employees trade union can help facilitate the communication with the employer

The role of EDF Director, HR Manager or the EDF Secretary

When a designated person receives a complaint of harassment, he/she will:

  • immediately record the dates, times and facts of the incident(s)
  • ascertain the views of the complainant as to what outcome he/she wants
  • ensure that the complainant understands the EDFs procedures for dealing with the complaint  
  • keep a confidential record of all discussions
  • ensure that the complainant knows that they can lodge the complaint outside of EDF in line with our workplace regulations, including to the police in the case of a criminal offence