Punctuality, Attendance & Holidays

Kenilworth Language Institute is recognised by ILEP (International List of Eligible Programmes) for Student Immigration Permission. It is therefore our Policy to uphold immigration requirements for non-EEA students. Kenilworth’s non-EEA students must be attending the programme on a full-time, daytime basis, class timetable at Kenilworth is 09.30 – 13.30 with 30minutes break between classes, Monday to Friday. This constitutes 17.5 hours of formal tuition per week. The programme must operate for a minimum of 25 weeks over a 7 month period; and the tuition element must constitute at least 375 hours during that period. Immigration permission may be given for up to 8 months at the discretion of the immigration registration officer. Non-EEA students must attend 85% or more of their classes.

Where a student has 25% or more uncertified absence in the first six weeks of their programme, this must be communicated to the GNIB and INIS. Where a student cannot make up attendance to a minimum of 85% before the programme ends the student must be informed that they do not meet

the attendance requirements and this fact will be communicated to the GNIB and INIS. There is no mechanism permitted whereby students can make up an uncertified absence(s) through additional classes, either during or post the end of the programme.

 

Attendance & Punctuality Procedures:

Students are required to have attended classes for 85% of their timetable or more.

  • Students who arrive more than 15 minutes late or who leave more than 15 minutes early will be marked absent.
  • The teacher will record a manual attendance sheet for each class. The teacher will also enter a total for the number of students in attendance.
  • These hard copy sheets will be recorded on file for a duration of 12 months.
  • The student attendance will also be recorded by administration in the school management software which provides a soft copy record. The % of student attendance will be monitored by both Administration and the Centre Manager.
  • In the event that a student’s attendance is falling below the 85% limit they will be notified by letter of their current attendance % and the need to attend class. If this continues a more serious letter is issued along with a consultation with the Centre Manager.

Holiday policy & procedures:

Kenilworth Holiday Policy adheres to the guidelines stipulated by the Irish Immigration services. Student holiday periods must be set out in advance of the start date of the course. The student must present to immigration a timetable of their course including any holidays they would like to take, these holidays cannot be later changed. The student cannot take holidays for longer than 1/3 of the total weeks elapsed (early holidays will not be permitted).

  • Students who would like to take a holiday during their course period must request this upon booking their course. Administration will provide the student with their course dates and the student can request holiday dates when booking. Holidays cannot be permitted if it exceeds 1/3 of the total weeks elapsed in their course.
  • Administration will issue the student with an acceptance letter.
  • When the student has all of the necessary documentation to apply for their visa, administration will also provide the student with their timetable, including any holiday requests, to present to immigration.
  • No unscheduled breaks are permitted except in documented cases of illness or close family bereavement.

Unscheduled Breaks Procedure:

In the event that a student needs to take a break from studies due to illness or family bereavement they should apply to the Centre Manager in writing. The student should supply a dated and signed letter outlining the reasons for the request for an unscheduled break. The letter should also outline the period of time needed to leave. In the event of illness the letter should also come with a doctor’s cert for the same.

  • A letter is submitted to the Center Manager.
  • The application is considered by the Centre Manager and either General Manager or Academic Manager.
  • The result of the application is explained to the student in writing giving reasons why the decision has been made.
  • The student is furnished with a school letter explaining their course information and unscheduled leave dates, course dates, personal information and reason for permission to take a break.

Sick Leave:

  • Students who are sick must e-mail or phone administration to inform them that they cannot attend (this must be done for every day that they will be absent). When the student returns they should present a doctor’s Cert to excuse the number of days missed.
  • If the student fails to produce a doctor’s cert then they will be marked absent for those days.

Students may be expelled for:

  • Disrespect towards property, other students or staff
  • Possession of alcohol, drugs or any substance controlled by law.
  • Violating or putting at risk the safety of another person.
  • Stealing
  • Abusive behaviour
  • Bullying
  • Vandalism
  • Graffitti
  • Being in restricted areas of the building unaccompanied by a member of staff.
  • Any other reason that in the opinion of the Centre Manager and the Director are of an apparently serious enough nature to warrant dismissal.

 

Student Complaints and Grievances

  1. Introduction

Kenilworth Language Institute is committed to ensuring that students have a positive student experience. Kenilworth monitors and evaluates its academic courses, administrative systems and student support services with a view to improving their quality. 

The purpose of the Student Complaints Procedure is to enable the school in a clear, simple and fair manner to resolve, in a timely fashion, any legitimate complaints which students may have in relation to the provision of courses and services to them. 

Students are urged to use the existing mechanisms available to them and where possible to resolve the matter in an informal way. However Kenilworth recognises that this may not always be possible or may not result in a satisfactory outcome.

  1. Scope

The procedure outlined below is open to all registered students. This procedure can only be invoked by the aggrieved student and not by someone acting on his/her behalf; this does not preclude the student obtaining advice and/or support in the preparation of their complaint.

This procedure is not applicable to complaints about issues over which the school has no control. 

This policy and its associated procedures are not intended to replace other complaint or dispute resolution mechanisms which exist within the School. In the event that a complaint is made about a service which has such a procedure Students will be advised of such by the Centre Manager. In particular the following types of complaint are outside the scope of this procedure: 

  • Complaints relating to bullying, harassment or discrimination will be dealt with under the existing bullying, harassment, sexual harassment policies and procedures. 
  1. Principles 

The procedures contained herein will be operated in accordance with the following principles.

3.1 Confidentiality 

All complaints will be handled sensitively and with due consideration to confidentiality for both students and staff. 

Complaints will remain confidential to those directly involved in the investigation of and response to the complaint. Any person named in a complaint (respondent) will be informed of the substance of the complaint and the identity of the complainant. The respondent will have a right of reply as part of the investigation. Only in very exceptional circumstances will the identity of the person making the complaint be concealed from the person against whom the complaint is made. 

All staff and students who become aware of any of the issues involved in a formal complaint are required to keep this information confidential except insofar as is necessary to progress, investigate or respond to the complaint.  

Data collected as part of a complaint will be treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

3.2 Victimisation

No student bringing a complaint in good faith under this procedure, whether successful or otherwise, will be treated less favourably by any member of staff than if the complaint had not been brought. If evidence to the contrary is found in this regard then the member of staff may be subject to disciplinary proceedings.

3.3 Vexatious or Mischievous Complaints

Any complaint found to be vexatious or mischievous may be the subject of disciplinary proceedings.

3.4 Anonymous Complaints

An investigation is required to enable the resolution of a complaint; where a complaint is made anonymously it will not be possible to undertake such an investigation. Neither will it be possible to make a response to the complainant. For practical reasons therefore, normally no action will be taken in the event of complaints made anonymously. There may, however, be exceptional circumstances where the School deems it appropriate to take action or investigate a matter on the basis of an anonymous complaint. The decision to investigate such a complaint will be made by the Director of the school in consultation with the Academic Manager and General Manager.

3.5 Group Action

Complaints may be raised individually or collectively where the matter is such that it affects a number of students.

3.6 Timescale for making a complaint

Students should raise complaints informally as soon as possible and normally within a few days of the problem arising. Making a complaint in a timely fashion will ensure that the circumstances of the complaint are reasonably clear in the minds of the complainant and respondent. This will greatly assist in the investigation and resolution of a complaint.

3.7 Documentation

Students may be asked to provide a written statement of complaint along with any supporting documentary evidence.

3.8 Conflict of Interest

Throughout the Complaints Policy and the Complaints Procedure, reference is made from time to time to functions being undertaken by various post holders. Although it is intended that those post holders will undertake those functions in the majority of cases, there may be special circumstances, including a conflict of interest, requiring another post holder to undertake the functions assigned to the post holder referred to in the document.

  1. Advice, Support, Representation and Guidance

Advice, support, representation and guidance are available from a number of sources (Centre Managers, admin manager, Student Welfare Officer and teachers) within the School for the complainant. However, it is the complainant’s responsibility to seek advice and assistance where necessary.

Students may be accompanied throughout the procedure by a friend. Staff who are the subject of a complaint may also be accompanied throughout the procedure by a friend.

  1. Monitoring Evaluation and Review

Responsibility for the management and operation of the Student Complaints Procedure resides with the Centre Manager. The Centre Manager will oversee the tracking of complaints through the procedure and will ensure that a record of the nature of the complaint, the time taken to deal with it and the outcome will be maintained.  This information will be utilised by the School to improve the quality of the services and facilities provided to students. 

This policy and procedure will be subject to review on a regular basis and updated in the light of experience. 

  1. Procedure 

7.1 Informal Procedure

Students with a complaint should, in the first instance, wherever possible and appropriate seek an informal resolution by raising the complaint directly with the relevant member of staff, administration, Student Welfare Officer or Centre Manager in order that wherever possible, it can be resolved immediately. Advice on how to proceed can be sought from the Student Welfare Officer or Centre Manager.

Should an informal approach prove to be inappropriate or ineffective then the student may invoke the formal procedure detailed below.

7.2 Formal Procedure 

7.2.1 Making a complaint

All formal complaints must be made by producing a written complaint. This must be sent to the Centre Manager. The student must provide on the form all relevant details of the complaint including the name of the individual or service about which the complaint is being made, dates, times, witnesses and circumstances of the event(s) being complained of and should also describe any previous attempts at resolution. Finally, the student may wish to suggest what reasonable steps he/she thinks could be taken to resolve the complaint.

In order to ensure that complaints can be dealt with efficiently and expeditiously they should normally be made within one month of the relevant event.

The Centre Manager will issue a written acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint normally within 5 working days.

7.2.2 Initial Assessment of Complaint

A preliminary assessment of whether a complaint comes within the scope of this procedure will be undertaken by the Centre Manager. Matters which might lead to the rejection of consideration of a complaint under the formal procedure include:

  • The grounds of the complaint are not matters related to the provision of a course of study or service of the School.
  • The matter is more appropriately dealt with by another procedure.
  • The issue, about which the complaint has been made, has already been satisfactorily dealt with.

If the matter is appropriate for consideration by the Board of Management it will be raised at the next board meeting.

The Centre Manager will advise the complainant of the outcome of the initial assessment normally within 15 working days of receipt of the complaint. If an individual is dissatisfied with the decision of the Centre Manger following his/her preliminary assessment the individual may appeal to the Director or another Manager in writing setting out why the complaint should be allowed to proceed in accordance with this procedure.

7.2.3 Investigation and Resolution of a Complaint

The Centre Manager (or another senior member of staff) will conduct such investigations, including possibly meeting with the student and/or the respondent, and seek such further information as they require and deem fit to determine a resolution to the matter being complained of.  The respondent will receive a copy of the complaint and be given an opportunity to respond to the complaint.

A written recommendation on how the matter can be/has been resolved, the rationale for same and any consequent actions proposed will be sent to the complainant and the respondent.

The response will normally be issued within 40 working days of the complaint being received.

7.2.4 Appealing the Outcome

In the event that the complainant or respondent is dissatisfied with the response to the complaint they may appeal this decision to the Director (or another senior member of staff), in writing stating the grounds for the appeal. An appeal must be made within 30 days of the issuing of the findings. The member of staff dealing with the complaint may choose to meet with the student and/or the respondent and will conduct such investigations and seek such further information as it deems necessary to resolve the complaint.

A written recommendation on how the matter can be/has been resolved, the rationale for same and any consequent actions proposed will be sent to the complainant and the respondent. The findings of the Appeal shall be final. 

 

Kenilworth Language Institute – Dignity at Work Charter

At Kenilworth Language Institute, we commit ourselves to working together to maintain a workplace/ studyplace environment that encourages and supports the right to dignity at work. All who work here, students, customers, clients and business contacts, are expected to respect the rights of each individual in their working life. All will be treated equally and respected for their individuality and diversity.

All staff, students, customers, clients and business contacts should be aware that Kenilworth Language Institute considers sexual harassment, harassment or bullying to be unacceptable and in breach of organisational policy.

Our policies and procedures will underpin the principles and objectives of this Dignity at Work Charter. All individuals, whether students, directly employed or contracted by us, have a duty and a responsibility to uphold this Dignity at Work Charter. Supervisors and managers in the workplace have a specific responsibility to promote its provisions.  Nothing in this Charter overrules a person‟s legal and statutory rights.

 

Introduction

This policy is in compliance with the recommendations of a Government Task Force Report on Bullying in the Workplace and the three Codes of Practice issued under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005, the Industrial Relations Act, 1990 and the Employment Equality Act, 1998 respectively:

  • The Health & Safety Authority‟s Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work
  • The Labour Relations Commission‟s (LRC) Code of Practice Detailing Procedures for Addressing Bullying in the Workplace
  • The Equality Authority‟s Code of Practice on Sexual Harassment and Harassment at Work

The procedures for dealing with complaints are considered to be the most practical and suitable for Kenilworth Language Institute. The purpose of this policy is to assure members of staff  and students who are subjected to sexual harassment, harassment or bullying that action will be taken to end such abusive and offensive behaviour. This policy advocates dealing with cases internally through the following processes which are explained in the policy:

  • informal resolution
  • formal complaints procedure
  • mediation

Only if the internal processes fail, should it be necessary to refer matters to an independent third party.

It also provides details on the structures that are in place to lend support and assistance to staff or students who are either making or are the subject of a complaint under this policy. Bullying or harassment of staff or students by non-employees such as clients, customers and other business contacts will not be tolerated. Where a complaint is substantiated against a non-employee, contractor etc., appropriate remedial measures will be taken to protect the staff.

Finally, this policy helps those involved to recognise the possible findings which result from the follow up and investigation of a bullying or harassment complaint where,

  • the complaint is upheld as bullying or harassing behaviour
  • the complaint is deemed to be unfounded as a bullying or harassing behaviour
  • the complaint is deemed to be vexatious
  • the complaint cannot be proven

 

Statement of Policy

Employees and students of Kenilworth Language Institute have a right to be treated with dignity and respect. Kenilworth Language Institute is committed to ensuring that employees work in a positive and safe working environment in an atmosphere of respect, collaboration, openness, safety and equality which is free from all forms of bullying or harassment. Employees also have a responsibility in creating and contributing to the maintenance of a work environment free from bullying or from conduct likely to contribute to bullying.

Our policies and practices will strive to prevent bullying at work. Sexual harassment, harassment or bullying in any form is not acceptable to us and will not be tolerated, whether it is carried out by a member of staff, a customer, a client or a business contact of Kenilworth Language Institute. All complaints of bullying will be taken seriously and will be followed through to resolution; Complaints by employees will be treated with fairness, sensitivity and in as confidential a manner as possible.

Offending employees/ students will be subject to the rigours of the Institutes disciplinary procedures up to and including dismissal/ expulsion. A complainants rights are protected under this policy and he/she will not be penalised for making a complaint in good faith. If, however, it is found that the complaint was brought maliciously, it will be treated as misconduct under the Institute’s disciplinary code. Where a complaint against a non-employee, contractor etc. arises, appropriate remedial measures will be taken to protect the staff/ students.

Inappropriate behaviour may lead to termination/non-renewal of contract, suspension/non-renewal of services, exclusion from premises or the imposition of other sanctions as may be deemed appropriate. This policy applies to employees/ students of Kenilworth Language Institute who are serving employees/ students at the time of the alleged incident and at the time when the complaint is brought to the attention of Management. Where an employee/ student leaves the Company while a complaint is being processed, the Institute will have no jurisdiction over that employee/ student. This may result in the cessation of an investigation. This policy underpins the Institute’s existing equality policy and health and safety statement. This policy will be updated to reflect the Institute’s experiences in implementing it, relevant changes in the workplace, relevant law/case law and any external factors that are relevant.

 

Obtaining information on bullying or harassment An employee/ student who considers that they have been the subject of bullying or harassment can seek information in the strictest confidence from any of the following contact persons who will be available to provide information and support to the employee:

  • Centre Manager/ Student Welfare Officer
  • Any other Manager/Supervisor.

These individuals will explain the definition of bullying, harassment and sexual harassment and the procedures in place for handling complaints.

What is Bullying & Harassment?

Bullying or harassment can be broadly characterised as behaviours which are unwanted or offensive to the recipient. It is the unwanted nature of the contact that distinguishes bullying, harassment and sexual harassment from friendly behaviour which is welcome and mutual. The intention of the perpetrator is irrelevant.  The effects of bullying and harassment are varied. Individuals working in an atmosphere of intimidation and fear cannot perform to their capabilities. This can lead to low morale, increased absenteeism or even resignation. Bullying and harassment can be devastating and destructive for the victim, in both their work and personal life. It may affect the physical and mental well-being of the victim. Loss of self-confidence, low self- esteem, stress and depression are just some of health effects associated with long-term exposure to bullying/harassment.

Bullying and harassment are defined by the impact of the behaviour on the recipient rather than the intention of the perpetrator. The effect of the behaviour on the employee concerned is what is important. It is up to each employee to decide what behaviour is unwelcome, irrespective of the attitude of others to the matter. Any act of bullying or harassment can occur outside the work premises or normal working hours provided the perpetrator was acting in the course of employment, for example, at a training course, conference or work-related social event. Bullying at work can involve people in many different work situations and at all levels:

  • manager/supervisor to employee/ student
  • employee/ student to supervisor/manager
  • one employee/ student to another (or group to group)
  • customer or business contact to employee/ student
  • employee/supervisor/manager to customer/business contact.

Bullying – Definition

For the purpose of this policy the definition of bullying is as follows:

Workplace Bullying is repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual‟s right to dignity at work. An isolated incident of the behaviour described in this definition may be an affront to dignity at work but, as a one off incident, is not considered to be bullying.

Examples of Bullying

Behaviour that constitutes bullying may be physical, non-physical or verbal. In all forms of bullying, the determining factor is the repeated and persistent nature of the unwanted and offensive behaviour against an individual or group. Physical forms of bullying may include (list is not exhaustive):

  • Shoving, jostling
  • Interfering with personal property or work station

Non-physical and verbal forms of bullying may include (list is not exhaustive):

  • Private or public humiliation, deliberate exclusion/ostracism
  • Repeated use of offensive language directed at an individual or individuals
  • Personal insults, such as name-calling, sneering, continued and deliberate staring
  • repeated put-downs, offensive jokes
  • Repeated verbal abuse
  • Undermining a person’s role, dignity or respect e.g. removing areas of responsibility and imposing menial tasks
  • Spreading malicious rumours
  • Derogatory graffiti
  • Threatening behaviour
  • Aggressive behaviour by supervisor, manager or colleague
  • Excessive monitoring of work
  • Setting unreasonable tasks
  • Withholding information

Distinguishing Bullying from Other Workplace Behaviour Bullying at work does not include reasonable and essential discipline arising from the good management of the performance of an employee at work or actions taken which can be justified as regards the safety, health and welfare of the employees. For example, an employee whose performance is continuously signalled at a level below required targets may feel threatened and insecure in their work but this in itself does not indicate bullying. Poor work performance and/or conduct will be dealt with according to the operation of the appropriate (discipline and grievance) procedures. There may be occasions where complaints are received about behaviour that does not concern bullying. A one off incident is an example of this. While a one off incident is not considered to be bullying, or  may not necessarily fall within the definition of harassment/sexual harassment, an incident of this nature can upset one and / or both parties involved in the incident. A one off incident of conflict in the workplace can result, for example, from a misunderstanding, miscommunication, a poorly judged comment, or loss of temper. In such circumstances it may be necessary for steps to be taken to resolve the issue. Where such a situation occurs, the line manager or other appropriate manager will facilitate the parties in reaching a resolution. On occasions the use of a mediator or other such intervention as deemed appropriate, may be employed to bring about a resolution. The rationale as to why the particular approach was adopted should be recorded. On other occasions, in appropriate circumstances, complaints relating to one off incidents may be dealt with separately under the Grievance Procedure

Distinguishing Bullying from Harassment

It is important to distinguish bullying from harassment which is defined below. Harassment is governed by the equality legislation and is predicated on the person being a member of one of the nine categories specified within the equality legislation. Bullying is legally distinct from harassment as bullying behaviour is not predicated on membership of any distinct group.

Harassment – Definition

For the purpose of this policy, the definition of harassment as outlined in the Employment Equality Act, 2004 will apply, as follows:

Harassment is any form of unwanted conduct, related to any of the nine discriminatory grounds and being conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person. Harassment and Sexual Harassment are defined in the Employment Equality Acts as discriminatory treatment. Discrimination is defined in the Employment Equality Act, 1998 and 2004 and the Equal Status Act 2000 and 2004 as the treatment of a person in a less favourable way than another person was, is or would be treated on nine distinct grounds:

  • The gender ground: A man, a woman or a transsexual person (specific protection is provided for pregnant employees or in relation to maternity leave);
  • The civil status ground: Single, married, separated, divorced or widowed;
  • The family status ground: A parent of a person under 18 years or the resident primary carer or a parent of a person with a disability;
  • The sexual orientation ground: Gay, lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual;
  • The religion ground: Different religious belief, background, outlook or none;
  • The age ground: This applies to all ages above the maximum age at which a person is statutorily obliged to attend school;
  • The disability ground: This is broadly defined including people with physical, intellectual, learning, cognitive or emotional disabilities and a range of medical conditions;
  • The race ground: A particular race, skin colour, nationality or ethnic origin;
  • The Traveller community ground: People who are commonly called Travellers, who are identified both by Travellers and others as people with a shared history, culture and traditions, identified historically as a nomadic way of life on the island of Ireland.

The Employment Equality Act, 2004 extended the definition of harassment to include discrimination which arises where one of the nine grounds is imputed to a person or where a person who is associated with another person, and is treated by virtue of the association, less favourably than another person. The Employment Equality Acts, 1998 and 2004 outlaw discrimination in the course of employment whether by an employer, another employee or by clients, customers or business contacts of the organisation.

Many forms of behaviour may constitute harassment including: (list is not exhaustive)

  • Verbal harassment – jokes, comments, ridicule or songs
  • Written harassment – including faxes, text messages, emails or notices
  • Physical harassment – jostling, shoving or any form of assault
  • Intimidatory harassment – gestures, posturing or threatening poses
  • Visual displays such as posters, emblems or badges
  • Isolation or exclusion from social activities
  • Pressure to behave in a manner that the employee thinks is inappropriate, for example, being required to dress in a manner unsuited to a person’s ethnic or religious background

Unlike bullying, harassment may consist of a single incident or repeated inappropriate behaviour.

Sexual Harassment – Definition

The Employment Equality Act, 1998 outlaws sexual discrimination in the workplace in the course of employment whether by an employer, another employee or by clients, customers or business contacts of the organisation. For the purpose of this policy, the definition of sexual harassment as outlined in the Employment Equality Act, 2004 will apply, as follows: Sexual harassment is any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, which has the purpose or effect of violating a person‟s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person. Such unwanted conduct may consist of acts, requests, spoken words, gestures or the production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or material.

Sexual Harassment may consist of a single incident or repeated inappropriate behaviour.

The legislation applies to incidents of a sexual nature between a woman and a man and to individuals of the same sex. Sexual harassment may take many forms, for example: (list is not exhaustive)

  • Sexual jokes, stories, comments, use of telephone (including text messages), fax or radio systems for inappropriate suggestive comments, unwelcome comments about dress or appearance
  • Display of offensive pictures, slogans, graffiti, written suggestive materials, etc. through electronic mail or otherwise (including a display of pornographic or sexually suggestive pictures or objects)
  • Asking personal questions, telling lies or spreading rumours about a colleague‟s sex life
  • Unwanted physical contact ranging from unnecessary touching to assault
  • Persisting in unwelcome attempts to form or continue a relationship from which the consent of one party has been withdrawn

Rights and Responsibilities

Employees

Employees have rights and duties as regards safety, health and welfare at work under the 2005 Act and under the Employment Equality Acts. They have rights to be treated with dignity and respect at work and not to have their safety, health or welfare put at risk through bullying by the employer, by other employees or other persons. They have a right to complain to the employer if bullied and not to be victimised for so doing. They have a right under safety and health laws to be represented in raising this with the employer. Employees also have responsibilities to behave and conduct themselves so as to respect the right of employers and other employees to dignity, courtesy and respect at work and the right not to be placed at risk as regards to their safety, health and welfare from bullying at work. This individual responsibility extends to an awareness of the potential impact of personal behaviour on others and how it may cause offence and make them feel uncomfortable or threatened. Employees should inform a manager or supervisor if they are concerned that a colleague is being bullied or harassed. They should also cooperate by providing any relevant information when an allegation of bullying at work is being looked into whether in an informal or formal stage.

The Kenilworth Language Institute

The Institute has a vicarious liability in regard to bullying and harassment matters. This means that the employer may be held liable for the actions of an employee in the course of his/her employment, regardless of whether these actions were carried out with the knowledge or approval of the employer. Management, others in positions of authority and workplace representatives have a particular responsibility to ensure that bullying at work does not occur and that complaints are addressed speedily. In particular they should:

  • familiarise themselves with this Company policy
  • uphold it as an integral part of their work
  • promote awareness of the policy among staff
  • communicate policy to employees and non-employees (ensure posters are prominently displayed and copies of the policy are readily available)
  • intervene in any instance where offensive behaviour is observed or brought to their attention
  • provide good example by treating all in the workplace with dignity and respect
  • be vigilant for signs of bullying at work through observation and through seeking employee feedback and take action before a problem escalates
  • respond sensitively to an employee who makes a complaint of bullying or harassment
  • respond promptly to requests from employees to intervene and seek to resolve the matter informally where appropriate
  • explain the procedures to be followed if a complaint is made
  • ensure, insofar as practicable, that the employee is not victimised for doing so
  • monitor and follow up situations after a complaint is made to ensure that it does not reoccur

Victimisation

It is unlawful to victimise an individual as a result of making a complaint, or giving notice of intention to do so. Complaints of victimisation will be treated as allegations of misconduct and will be dealt with through the grievance procedure and if upheld will be dealt with under the disciplinary procedure.

Communications

The Institute is committed to taking positive measures to educate all staff in awareness of bullying and harassment and the effects of this type of behaviour. Our commitment is to bring the policy to the attention of management, employees, clients and other business contacts. This will be achieved in respect of employees by the following:

  • induction training
  • a copy of the document Dignity at Work: Anti Bullying & Harassment Policy for Kenilworth Language Institute  to be circulated to all staff members
  • bullying and harassment awareness initiatives
  • training managers/supervisors to deal with bullying & harassment issues

This communication of the policy will be achieved in respect of non-employees by reference to the Dignity at Work Charter which will be displayed in workplaces

Support Services.  Given the often personal nature of bullying or harassment, the recipient may need to discuss his/her concerns in total confidence with someone else, in a safe environment. A member of the management team can be contacted directly at any stage for counselling, support and guidance throughout the process.

If you believe that you are being or have been bullied or harassed, you can seek information or assistance in strictest confidence from any of the following Contact Persons:

  • Centre Manager/ Student Welfare Officer
  • Any other Manager/Supervisor.

Complaints Procedure

There are three approaches in Kenilworth Language Institute to dealing with bullying and harassment, one informal; one formal and a third option of mediation is available where appropriate. The Institute advocates a problem-solving approach to ensure that the behaviour complained of, if established in fact, is eliminated and that working relationships are restored. This process aims to:

  • assess the allegation and address them
  • use agreed procedures;
  • be consistent, systematic, transparent and unbiased;
  • ideally have an intervention addressing the issue in place within three weeks or an agreed, indicative time frame;*
  • promote the restoration of harmony over the medium to long term. A complaint must be made within six months of the latest incident(s) of alleged bullying, harassment or sexual harassment behaviour.
  • An offer of mediation may be made by a relevant manager where it is deemed that the expert skills of a Mediator would be of assistance.  If an employee feels that s/he has been subjected to inappropriate behaviour by a third party non-employee, s/he should bring the matter to the attention of his or her line manager so that the matter can be investigated and appropriate action taken.

Informal Resolution It is the preferred approach of Kenilworth Language Institute that complaints of bullying or harassment are dealt with informally whenever possible. The objective of the informal procedure is to allow scope for resolving issues quickly and with the minimum of distress. Informal resolution of a specific bullying allegation could include for example, clarification of what bullying is, agreement to alter verbal style, agreement by the person complained of, if they accept that their behaviour was inappropriate, that the conduct will not be repeated, or an explanation to the complainant about what occurred from the point of view of the person complained of which dispels the complaint. Even if a complaint is in writing it can still be dealt with as part of the informal process. On receipt of a complaint of alleged bullying, or a complaint that a bullying atmosphere or bullying type behaviours are occurring, the Institute will attempt to have the matter resolved informally with the consent of the parties involved. . This is likely to produce solutions that are speedy, effective and minimise embarrassment and the risk of breaching confidentiality. This informal approach in no way proposes to diminish the issue or the effect on individuals. For general non-specific issues, a proactive, non-judgemental intervention approach such as information sessions, clarifying what is acceptable interaction for a workplace and monitoring will be used.

Informal Process

The first step in any informal resolution of a complaint will be to get the facts of the complaint, the specific issues complained of, when they occurred and to judge whether or not they fall within the definition of bullying, and thereafter to establish whether or not they are representative of the events complained of.

  • Any employee who believes he or she is being bullied should, where possible, indicate directly to the person complained of that the behaviour in question is unacceptable. In circumstances where the complainant finds it difficult to approach the person complained of directly, he or she should seek help and advice, from one of the contact persons’ identified previously in this policy
  • The Institute will designate a separate person who has had appropriate training and experience and who is familiar with the procedures involved to deal with the complaint on behalf of the organisation. This person will be a supervisor/manager or someone in authority within the organisation. For each complaint that arises, a designated person will be assigned to deal with that specific case. Effective guidance and training will be in place for those who are engaged at this level with the process.
  • The complaint may be verbal or written. If verbal, a written note of what is complained of should be taken by the designated person and a copy given to the complainant. It is important that the complainant and not the designated person drafts the complaint.
  • The designated person who is handling the complaint, will then seek to establish the facts, the context and then the next course of action in dealing with the matter under the informal procedure.
  • If the complaint concerns bullying as defined and includes concrete examples of inappropriate behaviour, the person complained against will be presented with the complaint and his/her response established.
  • Thereafter a method will be agreed to progress the issue to resolution so that both parties can return to a harmonious working environment without bullying being a factor.
  • If the behaviour complained of does not concern bullying as defined, the matter will be dealt with through the Institute’s Grievance Procedures. If there are no concrete examples given, it must be deemed that there is no complaint to be answered by the person complained of as they have no recourse to repudiating an accusation that doesn’t give any specifics.
  • Line managers will be kept informed, as appropriate, about the process in train.

Mediation Process

Mediation is a process whereby a neutral and impartial mediator meets with both parties, usually separately to begin with, to discuss the alleged offending behaviour. Mediation is a voluntary and independent process which cannot be imposed on the parties. It can only take place if both parties are agreed and it can end at any stage if either party decides to withdraw from the process. Mediation uses various techniques to separate the issues from the personalities involved. The fundamental objective is to resolve issues speedily and confidentially without recourse to a formal investigation and with the minimum of conflict and stress for the parties involved.

Agreements arrived at through this process tend t be more stable, longer lasting as they are owned by the parties involved.

Invoking the Mediation Process  

When a complaint is received by a designated member of management the complainant and respondent may be invited to participate in mediation. Alternatively, an employee may request the mediation process in order to resolve their issues. The final decision in relation to invoking the mediation process rests with senior management. The issue can be referred to mediation at any stage including if an investigation has commenced, if the parties involved are agreeable. A mediated agreement will not result in the issues being dealt with under a disciplinary policy. Any information exchanged during the process remains strictly confidential and cannot be disclosed as part of a formal investigation.

Where Mediation is unsuccessful or the offer of Mediation is refused the managing director  may refer the matter to an investigator(s) to begin or resume an investigation. If the issue is not or cannot be resolved through the informal process, or through mediation, or if the bullying/harassment persists, the formal process should be invoked.

Formal Process

The process includes a formal complaint, and a formal investigation. The purpose of an investigation is to determine the facts and the credibility or otherwise of a complaint of bullying. Where an investigation is to be carried out, the procedures below will be followed.

The complainant should make a formal complaint, which must be in written form and signed and dated. The complaint should be confined to precise details of alleged incidents of bullying, including their dates, and names of witnesses, where possible. The complainant will be advised of the aims and objectives of the formal process, the procedures and time frame involved, and the possible outcomes. He/she will be assured of support as required throughout the process. He/she will again be given a copy of this Policy. The person complained against will be notified in writing that an allegation of bullying has been made against him/her. He or she will be assured of the Institute’s presumption of his or her innocence of any wrongdoing at this juncture. He/she will be advised of the aims and objectives of the formal process and procedures and time frame involved and the possible outcomes. He/she will be assured of support as required throughout the process. A meeting will be organised at which he/she is given a copy of the complaint in full and any relevant documents including this Policy.

Investigation

The Institute will appoint an investigation team of two people, selected from a panel of suitably trained individuals. Every effort will be made to ensure a gender mixed team from at least one grade above the complainant and alleged offender(s). The investigators will not be people who were previously involved in the informal process. The investigation team will meet with the complainant and the person complained of and any witnesses or relevant persons on an individual confidential basis with a view to establishing the facts. A work colleague or employee representative may accompany the complainant and the person complained of and any witnesses if so desired in a supportive role. This person is not an advocate for the employee The investigation will be governed by terms of reference which should include the following:

  • The investigation will be conducted in accordance with this Policy.
  • The likely time scale for its completion – an indicative time-frame should be outlined and agreed and its rationale explained.
  • The scope of the investigation, indicating that the investigation team will consider whether the complaint falls within the definition of bullying at work and whether the complaint has been upheld.
  • Statements from all parties will be recorded in writing as the use of written statements tends to make matters clearer from the outset and maintains clarity throughout the investigation. Copies of the record of their statements should be given to and agreed with those who make statements to the investigator.
  • All parties should continue to work normally, if possible during the investigation.

The objective of an investigation is to ascertain whether or not, on the balance of probabilities, the behaviours complained of occurred. Evidence and witness statements are relied on for this purpose. All parties to an investigation are bound to strict confidentiality. Any individual (complainant, person complained of, witness(es) etc), found to be in breach of confidentiality related to an investigation will render themselves liable to disciplinary action, which may result in disciplinary proceedings up to and including dismissal. Lack of co-operation with / or obstruction of an investigation may be treated as a disciplinary matter.

Failure to co-operate with the investigation will be noted and will not preclude the investigation from continuing. The investigation will be completed as quickly as possible, preferably within an agreed timeframe. The time it takes to investigate a matter will depend on the particular circumstances and the number and availability of any witnesses. Insofar as is possible the investigation should be concluded within thirty (30) working days commencing with the assignment of the investigation team. The investigation team will submit a report to the manager who initiated the investigation which will include the conclusions of the investigation team.

The complainant and the person complained of will be given a copy of the report as soon as possible by the manager who initiated the investigation and given an opportunity to comment, within a set deadline, before he/she decides on any action to take. The employer will decide in the light of the investigation team’s report and the comments made, if any, what action is to be taken arising from the report. The employer will then in writing inform the complainant and the person complained against of the next steps. At the end of the process the documentation will be kept by the Institute in line with the Retention guidance within the Data Protection Act, 2003 and will made available only in compliance with that Act. Where a complaint is upheld, the matter will be dealt with under the Institute’s Disciplinary Procedures. Where a complaint is not upheld, it will be made clear to both parties that the complaint is not upheld, and no wrong doing has been found.

Where a complaint has been found to have been maliciously made, the matter will be dealt with under the Institute’s Disciplinary Procedures.

Appeals

An appeal against the findings of the investigation may be submitted to the manager who initiated the investigation. The appeal should be lodged within fourteen (14) days of the issue of the report and should clearly outline the grounds for such an appeal and should be accompanied by any relevant supporting documentation. The appeal will be heard by the manager who initiated the investigation and will focus only on the aspect of the case citied by the appellant as being the subject of the appeal.

The outcome of the appeal will be issued in writing to the complainant and person complained of by the manager to whom the appeal was made. All reasonable efforts will be made to complete the appeal within 21 days of its receipt. If the internal procedures do not lead to the resolution of the complaint then the case may be referred to an independent third party as provided for in agreed Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures. However, this should only happen once the internal procedures have been exhausted.

Closure and Next Steps

Both parties will be given appropriate support and periodical reviews, insofar as is reasonable, after a resolution is found so as to obtain closure. It is accepted that investigations can result in very divisive relationships for individuals, teams and workplaces and some type of reconciliation or rehabilitative meetings, or team working session may be arranged to restore healthier working communication for the future.

Records will be maintained on a strictly confidential basis and will be accessible only through the senior management. This central record will be for the compilation of statistics which may be used for reporting purposes, to identify trends and for management information purposes.

Monitoring

This information will also be used to monitor this policy in its application, to track the number and nature of complaints being raised, how people are accessing the policy, the speed of processing and any modifications which may be required. This information will be used to assist the Institute in taking corrective action or achieving continuous improvement in the bullying prevention policy and procedure.

This policy will be reviewed on a regular basis in line with changes in the law, relevant case law and other developments.

General Both parties will be supported to enable them to remain at work/ study while matters raised under this policy are being dealt with. A change of work/ study location for either or both parties if requested may be considered by Management.

This policy does not affect the statutory rights of an employee. Nothing in this policy is designed to prevent a person exercising his or her statutory entitlements by making a complaint under the Employment Equality Acts, or the Industrial Relations Act, 1946-2001. Complaints under the Employment Equality Acts must be brought within six months of the last act of discrimination. In exceptional circumstances, the six month time limit may be reviewed.

Kenilworth Language Institute – Exit Exam Procedure

Exit Exam Procedure

In compliance with immigration rules regarding English language programmes the following measures are taken at Kenilworth Language Institute with regard to exit exams and evidence is gathered and filed at each stage of the procedure.

1)      Notify student at the start of the course that they are expected to sit a recognised exam

2)      Meet with student individual/group in week 10 to discuss which exam – explaining format and cost

3)      Arrange location and date of chosen exam

4)      Collect money and book the exam or obtain evidence in the event that the student decides to book their own exam

5)      Send formal reminder to the student/s of imminent exam dates and times

6)      Obtain evidence of attendance of the exam from the examiner and/or student/s

7)      Obtain results of exams taken