FinTech Scotland has a strong and long-standing commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and to promoting a positive culture which celebrates difference, challenges prejudice and ensures fairness. Our team is our greatest assets and all its members should expect to be able to excel, and to be respected and valued for their unique perspectives and contributions.
Integrity, collegiality and inclusivity are central to FinTech Scotland’s values. In accordance with these values FinTech Scotland is committed to providing an environment in which all team members treat each other with dignity and respect, and where bullying, harassment and discrimination are known to be unacceptable. This Policy sets out the expectations placed on all team members.
FinTech Scotland has a zero tolerance approach to bullying, harassment or discrimination and will respond promptly and sensitively to formal complaints, and where appropriate take disciplinary action.
Scope and Purpose
This policy applies to FinTech Scotland in relation to both individual and collective activities and dealings with others within the team.
The purpose of the policy is to:
- Foster a positive culture for working which supports freedom of thought and expression within the law, and within a framework of respect for the rights of other
- Promote an enabling and inclusive environment where all individuals are treated with dignity and respect, free from bullying, harassment and discrimination.
- Ensure that occurrences of bullying, harassment and discrimination are taken seriously, and dealt with promptly and with due sensitivity.
- Set out the framework for raising, addressing and resolving concerns about individual and/or organisational behaviour.
As team members of FinTech Scotland we have a responsibility to:
- Demonstrate respect and integrity in our interactions with individuals and groups.
- Work collaboratively, collegially and effectively in teams within and across organisational units.
- Identify and challenge unacceptable behaviour when it occurs, even if it is not directed at ourselves.
- Address and resolve matters ourselves, where reasonably possible, in a positive and constructive way.
- Raise more serious concerns with relevant staff and participate positively in approaches to resolve them.
- Modify our behaviour should we become aware that we have behaved unacceptably in relation to this policy, even if no complaint has been made.
In addition, managers of staff and others with responsibility for areas of work have:
- A responsibility to lead in promoting a culture of dignity and respect, and
- A duty to take timely, relevant action to resolve concerns.
FinTech Scotland expects all to treat others with dignity and respect and regards bullying, harassment or discrimination as unacceptable behaviour. FinTech Scotland will respond promptly and sensitively to formal complaints, and where appropriate take disciplinary action.
For team members, examples of unacceptable behaviours in the workplace can include, but are not limited to:
- Unwelcome physical contact ranging from unnecessary touching to serious assault
- Intimidating or threatening behaviour, or language
- Unwelcome attention or advances of a sexual nature
- Disparaging, ridiculing or insulting behaviour, language or gestures
- Inappropriate communication or visual display of offensive material
- Isolation, non-cooperation, or deliberate exclusion of an individual from a work situation (including work-related social events)
- Undermining of an individual through unfair work allocation or persistent unjustified criticism.
Team members of FinTech Scotland are encouraged, where possible, to resolve concerns informally.
Team members of FinTech Scotland may wish to seek advice and support from a manager, HR advisor or Trade Union representative from the University of Edinburgh of which FinTech Scotland is a subsidiary.
Options for Employees
Where a team member identifies a potential breach of this policy, there are a number of ways they may wish to approach the matter in an attempt to resolve it, as set out below.
Where a team member believes they are being subjected to treatment which is in breach of this policy, they should seek to address this at the earliest possible stage.
Where they feel able to, the team member should make clear to the person causing the offence that such behaviour is unacceptable to them. In many instances, this can be sufficient to bring an end to that behaviour.
Seeking Informal Assistance
If the team member does not feel able to resolve the matter themselves at an early stage, they may wish to seek advice and support from a manager, HR advisor or Trade Union representative from the University of Edinburgh of which FinTech Scotland is a subsidiary.
They may also wish to request a meeting with a Dignity & Respect Advisor (DRA), at: https://www.ed.ac.uk/equality-diversity/respect/support/advisors who can provide support and advice on how the particular problem could be handled.
The DRA will outline the different ways of dealing with the matter, which for staff, will include:
- Dealing with the situation through discussion or formal mediation.
- Raising the matter with their manager, a more senior manager or a member of their Support Group HR Team.
- Accessing staff support services e.g. counselling.
Whilst the DRA can provide impartial advice, the employee concerned will be expected to make the decision about which route to follow and take responsibility for progressing with their desired actions.
Raising a Formal Complaint
If the problem has not been resolved by informal means, or the team member feels it cannot be resolved through informal means, then they may submit a formal complaint.
If the complaint relates to another member of staff then this should be submitted as a grievance in line with the University’s Grievance Policy and procedure, which can be found at:
Reporting concerns to Police
Where a team member identifies a breach of this policy which constitutes a criminal offence or an immediate threat to safety, they should report the matter to the Police. Individuals should also inform FinTech Scotland through the relevant internal route set out in this policy, so that appropriate steps can be taken and support provided.
Where an individual believes they are being subjected to treatment which is contrary to this policy, they should seek to address this at the earliest possible stage.
Where they feel able to, the individual should make clear to the person causing the offence that such behaviour is unacceptable to them.
Seeking Informal Assistance
If the individual does not feel able to resolve the matter themselves at an early stage, they may wish to seek advice and support from The Advice Place at:https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/support_and_advice/the_advice_place/ or an independent member of staff.
The Advice Place will outline the different ways of dealing with the matter, such as:
- Dealing with the situation through discussion.
- Raising the matter with an appropriate member of staff, e.g. a Personal Tutor, Lecturer, or Warden.
- Accessing student support services e.g. counselling.
- Submitting a complaint through the Complaint Handling Procedure.
Whilst the Advice Place can provide impartial advice, the student concerned will make the decision about which route to follow and take responsibility for progressing with their desired actions.
Raising a Complaint through the Complaint Handling Procedure
If the problem has not been resolved by informal means, or the individual feels it cannot be resolved through informal means, then they may submit a complaint through the Complaint Handling Procedure, which can be found at: https://www.ed.ac.uk/university-secretary-group/complaint-handling-procedure. The Advice Place can advise students on submitting a complaint.
FinTech Scotland will monitor and review its performance on promoting dignity and respect, and the effectiveness of this policy and associated procedures on an ongoing basis.
This Appendix provides definitions of the terms ‘bullying’, ‘harassment’, and ‘discrimination’
Discrimination means treating an individual unfairly because the individual has, or is perceived to have a protected characteristic, or because of their association with someone who has a protected characteristic. The protected characteristics are:
- Gender reassignment
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Marriage and civil partnership
Discrimination can be direct or indirect. Indirect discrimination can occur when the University has a policy or practice that applies to everyone but particularly disadvantages people who share a protected characteristic.
Harassment is defined by the Equality Act 2010 as:
“Unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.”
The relevant protected characteristics are:
- Gender reassignment
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
Staff need not possess the relevant characteristic themselves but may be subjected to unacceptable behaviour because they are wrongly perceived to have a protected characteristic, or because of their association with a person who has a protected characteristic. In addition, staff have the right to complain of behaviour that they find offensive even if it is not directed at them.
Victimisation is a type of harassment. This occurs when an individual is treated less favourably because he/she has, in good faith, made an allegation of harassment, or has assisted another person in bringing forward such an allegation, or participated in an investigation of a complaint or disciplinary hearing.
Bullying is not defined in law but for the purposes of this policy is defined as:
“Offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour which intentionally or unintentionally undermines, humiliates, denigrates or injures the recipient.”
Bullying is normally characterised by a pattern of behaviour but a single incident could be considered as bullying behaviour.
Bullying is to be distinguished from the legitimate exercise of managerial responsibilities where these responsibilities are carried out in a respectful, reasonable and appropriate manner.