14 July 2021
To: All Members Dunnes Kilkenny Kieran Street
The general survey, launched on Monday 21st June, has received a significant response from staff. Below are the main results:
Q1 Are there any problems with Covid-19 safety protection measures in the store?
Q2 Staff employed with Dunnes for 12 months or more can be placed on a secure band of weekly working hours, called banded hours. Are you on a banded hour contract?
Q3 If your average hours were above your band of hours over the last year, have you applied for an increase to your band?
Q4 Have you had any issues in relation to your uniform in the past 6 months?
20 staff responded Yes
13 staff responded No
Q5 Do you feel you are treated with dignity and respect at work?
9 staff responded Yes
15 staff responded Sometimes
9 staff responded No
Addressing Workplace Issues
It is important to remember that Dunnes have a policy of Dignity and Respect in the Workplace, which was established “to provide a good working environment where freedom from harassment / sexual harassment or bullying is a condition of work to which every employee is entitled.” This policy applies to all employees, including management (this policy is reproduced in full at the end of this page for your reference).
All staff – including those employed less than a year – can be a member of Mandate. Staff can join confidentially online at www.joinmandate.ie.
Together, we are stronger.
(taken from your Dunnes Stores Handbook)
5.2 Policy on Dignity and Respect in the Workplace
It is the policy of Dunnes Stores to provide a good working environment where freedom from harassment / sexual harassment or bullying is a condition of work to which every employee is entitled. Breach of this policy shall be dealt with in accordance with the disciplinary procedure of Dunnes Stores and may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. This policy is supported throughout all levels of management within Dunnes Stores.
This policy applies to all employees whether in the work place or at associated events in the course of employment such as meetings, conferences, work related social events, whether on the premises or off site. This policy also applies to bullying, harassment and/or sexual harassment not only by fellow employees but also by others such as clients, customers and business contacts.
Definition of Bullying:
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 once off incident is not considered to be bullying.
A non-exhaustive list of bullying behaviour is set out below.
- Verbal abuse, insults
- Physical abuse
- Intrusion – pestering, spying or stalking
- Menacing behaviour
- Undermining behaviour
- Blame for things beyond a person’s control
Definition of Harassment / Sexual Harassment:
Harassment is any form of unwanted conduct related to the grounds of gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age disability, race/colour/nationality/ethnic/national origins or membership of the traveller community 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. The unwanted conduct may consist of acts, requests, spoken words, gestures or the production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other material.
Sexual Harassment is any form of unwanted 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. The unwanted conduct may consist of acts, requests, spoken words, gestures or the production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other materials.
There is both an informal and formal procedure to deal with a complaint of bullying, harassment and/or sexual harassment. These procedures are set out below:
While in no way diminishing the issue or the effects on individuals, an informal approach can often resolve matters. As a general rule therefore, an attempt should be made to address an allegation of bullying, harassment or sexual harassment as informally as possible. The objective of this approach is to resolve the difficulty with the minimum of conflict and stress for the individuals involved.
a) Any employee who believes he or she is being bullied, harassed or sexually harassed should explain clearly to the person they consider to be responsible for the offending behaviour that the behaviour is unacceptable. In circumstances where the complainant finds it difficult to approach the person they consider to be responsible for offending behaviour directly, he or she should seek help and advice, in a secure environment, from a contact person. A contact person could, for example, be one of the following:
- A Departmental Manager
- Any manager within Dunnes Stores
- The Human Resource / Personnel Manager
In this situation the contact person will listen patiently, be supportive and discuss the various options open to the employee.
b) Having consulted with the contact person, the complainant may request the assistance of the contact person in raising the issue with the person they consider to be responsible for the offending behaviour. In this situation the approach of the contact person should be by way of a secure, non-confrontational discussion with a view to resolving the issue in an informal low-key manner.
c) A complainant may decide, for whatever reason, to bypass the informal procedure. Choosing not to use the informal procedure will not reflect negatively on a complainant in the formal procedure. The contact person may also decide that the complaint should be dealt with under the formal procedure. The Company cannot deal with complaints that are not reported. Complaints will be dealt with sensitively and as confidentially as possible, however, the Company cannot offer anonymity to any complainant.
If an informal approach is inappropriate or the informal procedure does not resolve the bullying, harassment, or sexual harassment, the following formal procedure should be invoked:
a) The complainant should make a formal complaint in writing to his/her immediate supervisor or if preferred, any member of management. The complainant will be required to put his/her complaint in writing and sign and date it. The complaint should be confined to precise details of actual incidents of bullying, harassment or sexual harassment. It is important that an employee who makes a complaint keeps an accurate record of all incidents, dates, and names of witnesses if any. All complaints will be dealt with promptly, seriously, and as sensitively as possible.
b) The person the complainant considers to be responsible for the offending behaviour will be notified that an allegation has been made against him/her. He or she will be given a copy of the complainant’s complaint and any other relevant documentation and advised that he or she shall be afforded a fair opportunity to respond to the allegation(s).
(c) The complaint will be subject to an initial examination by a designated member of management who can be considered impartial with a view to determining an appropriate course of action. An appropriate course of action at this stage, for example, could be exploring a mediated solution or a plan to resolve the matter informally. Should either of these approaches be deemed inappropriate or inconclusive, a formal investigation of the complaint will take place with a view to determining the facts and the credibility or otherwise of the complaint. Investigation
(d) The investigation will be conducted by a designated member(s) of management or other person nominated by management. In cases of sexual harassment, every effort will be made to ensure that the investigator or one of the investigators will be of the same gender as the complainant. The investigation will be conducted thoroughly, objectively, with sensitivity and with due respect for the rights of both the complainant and the person the complainant considers to be responsible for the offending behaviour.
(e) The investigators may meet with the complainant and the person the complainant considers to be responsible for the offending behaviour and any witnesses or relevant persons on an individual basis with a view to establishing the facts surrounding the complaint(s).
Any statement taken from witnesses will be given to the complainant and the person against whom the complaints are made who will be given a reasonable opportunity to comment on such statements before any finding is made. Both the complainant and the person against whom the complaints have been made may be accompanied by a work colleague if so desired.
(f) Every effort will be made to carry out and complete the investigation as quickly as possible.
(g) Should management decide that the complaint is well founded, the person against whom the complaints were made, should be given a formal interview by an appropriate member of management to determine the appropriate sanction under the company disciplinary procedure. .
(h) No employee can receive any victimisation as a result of making a complaint, being a witness, being part of an investigation and any such behaviour will be dealt with in accordance with the company disciplinary procedure. Similarly anyone found to have brought forward malicious claims will be subject to the disciplinary procedure. At all times the complainant, and the person against whom the complaints are made should refrain from generally discussing the complaint in the workplace but should follow the procedure as outlined above.
The complainant, the person against whom the complaints were made and any witnesses, should be advised of the importance of maintaining confidentiality throughout the process.