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Is this harassment? – New guidebook gives tools and instructions for identifying and handling workplace harassment and inappropriate behaviour

Preventing harassment and other inappropriate treatment is a matter for the whole work community – the employer and employees. What crosses the line of workplace harassment or inappropriate behaviour?

You can find the answer to the question above in a publication released by the Centre for Occupational Safety: Preventing and Handling Inappropriate Treatment in the Workplace – Prevent and Intervene.

JHL has been involved in drafting the guidebook. The guidebook provides instructions on, say, early intervention and preventing inappropriate treatment.

– Problems occur in every workplace.

Working life specialist Tuula Haavasoja is one of the guidebook’s team of authors. According to her, workplaces differ from each other in how they solve problems that occur.

The purpose of the new publication is to support workplaces in preventing, handling and identifying harassment, inappropriate treatment, and discrimination.

The guidebook has instructions for what to do in case of inappropriate treatment. It specifically deals with what employers should do in terms of investigating and eliminating inappropriate treatment.

The publication determines key concepts and describes the principles of professional behaviour at work.

Each workplace should prepare its guidelines together with the personnel. The guidelines should concern all members of the work community and be an important part of onboarding a new employee. For difficult situations, one should for example draw up:

  • rules for professional behaviour at work
  • principles on dealing with disagreements and conflicts
  • principles on giving feedback
  • instructions on what to do in case of harassment, inappropriate treatment, and discrimination
  • instructions on workplace mediation

The publication also explains about the practices of monitoring inappropriate treatment. In the guidebook, there are examples of situations that can be considered inappropriate, but also examples of situations that do not constitute inappropriate behaviour. With the help of the guidebook, an employee or their supervisor can evaluate whether the detected negative behaviour meets the criteria of inappropriate treatment.

The guidebook is targeted towards workplace managers, supervisors, those responsible for HR matters, occupational safety and health co-operation personnel, shop stewards, employees, occupational health care, and schools.

The guidebook “Preventing and Handling Inappropriate Treatment in the Workplace – Prevent and Intervene” can be downloaded free of charge on the Centre for Occupational Safety website.