Sexual Harassment Policy


As part of its overall commitment to equality of opportunity, Mitzvah Day Charitable Trust (“Mitzvah Day”) is dedicated to promoting a safe, collaborative and mutually respectful working environment in which everyone is free from bullying, discrimination, victimisation and harassment of all forms (including sexual harassment), and where everyone is accountable for preventing and ensuring that these behaviours are not tolerated.

Mitzvah Day aims to create a workplace where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, transgender status, marital or family status, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origins, creed, culture, religion or belief, age, disability or any other personal factor or quality. Similarly, no employee should be the subject of victimisation, i.e. less favourable treatment as a result of raising, or giving evidence in connection with a complaint, either in relation to themselves or a colleague.


It is important to first understand what constitutes bullying, harassment, victimisation and discrimination in order to understand how it might occur in the workplace.


Bullying may be characterised as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse of power or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate, or injure the recipient. It can take various forms, including physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct, from extreme behaviour involving violence and intimidation, through to subtle actions such as deliberate exclusion.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is unwanted conduct of a sexual nature and the conduct results in the violation of the other’s dignity, or their actions create an intimidating, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the recipient.

It is important to note that sexual harassment is different from sex-based harassment. While sexual harassment relates to unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, sex-based harassment will be behaviour that is linked in some way to gender and causes offence to an individual. An example could be where an employee is constantly telling derogatory or demeaning jokes about women generally and a particular individual (regardless of gender) finds this unwelcome and offensive.

Right to Report

Everyone either employed directly by, or associated with, Mitzvah Day has the right to lodge a complaint if they feel they are or have been harassed or have experienced bullying, discrimination, or victimisation. Reports of these behaviours by those not directly employed by Mitzvah Day will be treated with the same merit and investigated fully.

In addition to complaints about the behaviour of staff, individuals have the right to complain if they believe that they have been harassed, bullied, victimised or discriminated against by a third party, including, donors, contractors, volunteers, clients, suppliers, as well as any other person who will be in contact with any individual employed by Mitzvah Day during the course of their employment. etc. Mitzvah Day is responsible for ensuring that all necessary steps have been taken to protect individuals from third party harassment. We understand that reporting these incidents may be difficult, but you will be supported throughout should you wish to report it and this policy should give you confidence. Mitzvah Day recognises that there can be perceived or actual status disparities in the workplace. However, Mitzvah Day will not tolerate any individual using their position to harass another.


How to make a Complaint

Complaints of alleged harassment, bullying, discrimination or victimisation by employees should be made in line with Mitzvah Day’s Grievance Policy found in our Staff Handbook. Non-employees should report any incident of alleged harassment, bullying, victimisation or discrimination to Mitzvah Day’s Chief Executive Officer (the “Chief Executive”). If the complaint is in reference to the Chief Executive, this should be lodged with the Trustees on our Governance Sub-Committee (as at this date, Sharon Horwitz or Lucy Maislish).

Mitzvah Day has a duty to protect all employees, volunteers, trustees, donors and contractors. If the incident is sufficiently serious, Mitzvah Day may not require a complaint from the victim to instigate an investigation or disciplinary action. This is to ensure the safety of everyone in the workplace and the prevention of future potential incidents. However, the victim will be informed and supported throughout these processes. Also, if you change your mind after reporting, even informally or in confidence, Mitzvah Day may also choose to investigate anyway for the same reasons as mentioned above. We will, however, not do so without talking to you first.

Disciplinary Action

Where the findings of an investigation into harassment, bullying, discrimination, or victimisation conclude that disciplinary action should be taken, Mitzvah Day’s Disciplinary Procedure will be followed.

Mitzvah Day regards all forms of harassment, and bullying, victimisation, and discrimination as serious misconduct and in some cases, these may amount to an act of gross misconduct.

Therefore, employees who Mitzvah Day reasonably believes to have harassed, bullied, victimised or discriminated against another employee, contractor, volunteer agency worker etc. may be liable for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal for gross misconduct.

Third-Party Harassment

Harassment of an employee by third parties, for example clients, customers, donors or any other third party will not be tolerated. For example, if an employee complains to Mitzvah Day that a particular person has been making sexist remarks to them, Mitzvah Day will take steps to protect the employee from such third-party harassment, such as banning the alleged perpetrator from the premises or from attending events arranged by Mitzvah Day.

Similarly, if a business or individual occupies space within the same building or premises as Mitzvah Day and is accused of harassing an individual, appropriate steps will be taken to ensure any act(s) cease immediately.


Education and engagement with everyone to promote Mitzvah Day’s zero-tolerance approach is key to avoid harassment and bullying [and discrimination] in the workplace. Mitzvah Day is committed to ensuring all its staff and those involved with Mitzvah Day are properly trained from induction in order to identify and ultimately prevent work-related harassment and bullying [and discrimination] from taking place, and to promote a safe and respectful workplace culture.

The Chief Executive, all Trustees, Senior Management and Line Managers are responsible for ensuring they promote respect, safety, and dignity at work. Mitzvah Day will ensure that appropriate measures are put in place, such as, training, supervision and instruction to enable the Chief Executive, Trustees and Management to identify work-related harassment and to deal effectively with any incidents that may occur.


What can you do to prevent harassment, bullying, victimisation and discrimination?

We want to ensure that we have a workplace that is inclusive and fosters openness and transparency. It is everyone’s responsibility in Mitzvah Day to create an environment free from harassment (including sexual harassment), bullying, victimisation and discrimination. You can help to prevent harassment, bullying, victimisation and discrimination by:

  • Making sure you treat everyone you meet with dignity and respect;
  • Being aware of your own behaviour and actions and remembering that these have consequences. Remember that ‘office banter’ and jokes may not be received in the same manner you meant;
  • Making a stand against inappropriate workplace banter. Custom and practice doesn’t mean that some jokes and behaviour are acceptable;
  • Making it clear to others, where possible, when you find their behaviour unacceptable;
  • If you see or hear someone being harassed, intervening, and reporting this to your Line Manager or the Chief Executive or a Trustee.

Making This Policy Work

The outcome of every case of alleged harassment, bullying, discrimination and victimisation will be reviewed to ensure the proper procedures, including this policy have been followed. Where learning and developments are identified, this policy and relevant procedures will be subsequently updated.

Mitzvah Day may from time-to-time issue staff surveys to try to determine if the workplace is free from these behaviours.

Appendix 1: Helplines


  • Criminal matters should be reported to the police.
  • Call 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger, or if the crime is in progress.
  • Call 101 to contact the police if the crime is not an emergency.

Jewish Women’s Aid (JWA) Confidential Dina Support Line: 0808 801 0656

  • Times open: Mondays 10am-12noon and 1pm-3pm, Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 10am-12noon and 1pm-3pm
  • For women and girls over the age of 16. It provides support and information on options, rights and services for survivors, professionals and supportive friends and family.