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Discrimination, bullying and harassment

There are a number of legal protections for all staff at work against the more 'common' forms of discrimination, notably racial, sexual, or against those with disabilities

However, using any of these legal protections can be daunting, as you may feel this risks exposing yourself to additional abuse, or that your institution's culture may make it difficult to prove that discrimination is taking place.

Or it may equally be the case that you are being treated badly for no other reason than your manager is a bully, or a colleague has developed a personal grudge.

Although they vary, every education employer should have agreed, and published, procedures for you to follow if another member of staff, whatever position they may hold, is not treating you appropriately or professionally. This is part of an employer's 'duty of care' implied in all contracts of employment.

If you feel you have a particular problem, you should approach your branch/local association as soon as possible. If you do not feel you want immediate action taken or need any representation, you may find it very useful to contact the Recourse - supporting education professionals, as talking things through and getting advice on what options you have can often help relieve the stress.

Early intervention can often ease situations or clear up misunderstandings without ongoing recriminations. Your UCU representatives also have access to further knowledge in order to help, and will keep all matters confidential.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you know that the other person involved is also a UCU member: we treat every member fairly and have well-tried and careful procedures to follow in these situations.

You will find some leaflets containing basic information below - these are only introductions and are not a substitute for talking to your union rep. Both members and branches may find our Ban bullying and harassment page useful.


If you believe you're being bullied, the chances are, you are

What to do if you are being bullied or harassed:

What to do if you witness bullying or harassment:

Guidance for those accused of bullying or harassment:

If you have suffered race discrimination:

Age discrimination and the age regulations – some questions answered:

Advice on disability discrimination law:

UCU member services: Log in here to update your record online
About the fighting fund
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See also

For more information about anything on this page, please email the web editor
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