In Spain, the protocol for workplace harassment is established through Organic Law 3/2007, of March 22, 2007, for the effective equality of women and men, and Royal Decree 901/2020, of October 13, 2007, which regulates equality plans and their registration. Companies are obliged to establish measures to prevent and act against harassment in the workplace.
Below are some general criteria that companies should keep in mind in their protocols for dealing with workplace harassment:
Prevention policy: The company must have a clear and explicit policy prohibiting workplace harassment. This policy should be communicated to all employees and be available in accessible formats.
Awareness and training: The company should conduct awareness-raising and training activities to raise employees’ awareness of workplace harassment, its forms of manifestation, consequences and how to prevent it. This includes the promotion of a respectful work environment and the dissemination of reporting channels.
Reporting channels: The company should establish secure and confidential reporting channels for employees to report possible cases of workplace harassment. These channels may include a contact person, the human resources department or an anonymous reporting mailbox.
Receiving the report: When a report of workplace harassment is received, the company should treat it seriously and confidentially. A responsible person should be assigned to handle the complaint and conduct appropriate investigations.
Internal investigation: The company should conduct an impartial and thorough internal investigation into the complaint received. This involves gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses and ensuring that the rights of both the complainant and the accused are respected.
Protective measures: During the investigation process, the company should take measures to protect the complainant and prevent any form of retaliation. This may involve temporary changes in the assignment of duties, relocation of the employees involved or any other measures necessary to ensure a safe working environment.
Resolution and follow-up: Once the investigation is completed, the company should take appropriate action to resolve the situation. This may include disciplinary action against the harasser, conciliation measures between the parties involved or any other action deemed necessary. In addition, follow-up action should be taken to ensure that situations of workplace harassment do not recur.
Record keeping and documentation: The company should maintain detailed records and documentation of all complaints, investigations and actions taken in relation to workplace harassment. This is important in order to demonstrate compliance with regulations and to properly follow up on cases.
It is essential that companies consult current legislation and adapt their policies and procedures according to the applicable regulations and the characteristics of their organization. In addition, in cases of workplace harassment, it is advisable to seek legal advice to ensure that all obligations are met and employees’ rights are protected.
If you have specific questions about workplace harassment protocols, we recommend that you consult with our team of lawyers and advisors who specialize in labor law.