We all have a role to play in preventing harassment and bullying in 2020. Jan Eggleton from Hardcases, an expert educator and facilitator in this field, led two sessions on 11 February 2020 on what we need to know and how we can do better.
Jan informed us that there are three “must haves” for firms and other organisations. They are (1) policy, (2) procedures and (3) training. The policy defines what is bullying and harassment, the procedures set out what to do and who to go to if it occurs, and the training helps staff members feel empowered to recognise inappropriate behaviours and use the procedures if they witness or experience them.
We discussed how policies do not need to mirror legislative definitions, and that the threshold for what is considered inappropriate behaviour can be set lower. Jan also emphasised the importance of identifying contacts within and outside the organisation that complainants can go to, including (if possible) a Harassment Prevention Coordinator (HPC) who is preferably not a Partner, Management or HR (e.g. a Senior Associate).
We are grateful to Jan for sharing her wisdom and experience with us, and for her convincing demonstration of what is “creepy” behaviour on our poor AWLA President, Laura Carter.