Victimisation is defined as repeated reprehensible or negative actions directed at an individual employee or student in a way that can cause offence and lead to the individual being excluded from the social group in the workplace or study environment. Such phenomena may also be referred to as bullying or harassment and may also cover sexual/gender-related harassment and harassment on the grounds of ethnic origin, disability, religion or other belief, or sexual orientation.
Actions that can constitute victimisation include:
- making an employee or student appear invisible by systematically ignoring them
- withholding information and thus obstructing the individual’s work
- insults or negative treatment
- depriving an individual of duties or office space without reason
- criticising and/or ridiculing an individual in front of others
- ostracising an individual
- persecution in various forms
At Lund University, offensive actions and behaviour are not tolerated, whether between colleagues or students, between lecturers and students, or between managers and subordinates.
Other important definitions
Direct discrimination is when an individual is discriminated against by being treated worse than another person is treated, has been treated or would be treated in a comparable situation. The discrimination must be linked to one of the grounds in the Discrimination Act.
Indirect discrimination is when an individual is discriminated against as a result of criteria, procedures or application of regulations that appear neutral but actually disadvantage the person as a result of one of the grounds listed in the Discrimination Act.
Instructions to discriminate refer to orders or instructions to discriminate against an individual through harassment or direct or indirect discrimination.
Help and support
If you are a victim of discrimination, you have the right to seek advice, support and information on issues concerning victimisation, harassment and discrimination without having to make a formal complaint. It is important that you are clear and tell those who are victimising or harassing you that their behaviour is not acceptable. Document the events carefully: date, location, any witnesses, etc. This will facilitate any future investigation.
If you feel that you have been subjected to victimisation or harassment, you should first contact your head of department/equivalent. If for whatever reason you do not want to speak to the head of department, there are other options. Employees (including doctoral students) can contact the Occupational Health Service or LTH’s human resources office. They can provide information, advice and support. Students (excluding doctoral students) can contact LTH’s student welfare officers or the Student Health Service. There are special procedures for harassment that affects students.
Responsibility of the head of department
When a head of department is made aware that an employee or student has been subjected to victimisation, harassment or discrimination, he or she is responsible for taking action to ensure the harassment ends immediately.