Human Resource Management

A new Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work written by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has been in place since December 2020 (S.I. 674 of 2020, Industrial Relations Act 1990). 

The role of the Contact Person, Support Contact Person or the Designated Contact Person is an integral part of the Dignity at Work process.   The function of the Contact Person is to listen, be supportive and outline the options open to an employee who believes they may be experiencing bullying behaviour by somebody they are coming in contact with in their workplace or through their work. The Contact Person acts as a first point of contact, somebody to speak with in confidence about what might be happening with a view to considering what the next actions might be.  The Contact Person will explain the definitions of bullying behaviour and the various elements of the procedure and will assist the employee in making an informed choice about what action, if any the employee may wish to take.  

The aim of this workshop is to consider this specific role and help build the confidence of those who have volunteered to undertake it on behalf of their organisation.  

In accordance with the code of practice the Contact Person does not act as an advocate or representative for the employee and may not approach the alleged perpetrator on his or her behalf.

They will have no role in the investigation of any complaints and should not be tasked with any further involvement in the details or right and wrongs of a complaint.  Understanding the boundaries of the role is an essential part of this role – resolution of the issue is not the role of the Contact Person.

The Role of the Contact Person in the Dignity at Work Process

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Key Facts

Delivery Method

The Role of the Contact Person in the Dignity At Work Process is a one day in-person workshop which will be delivered at the IPA in Ballsbridge, Dublin D04 TC62.

The delivery method will be practical application of the theory with interactive sessions throughout.  The workshop will run from 9:30 – 16:30 on scheduled dates with the afternoon session focussing on practice to ensure that the Contact Person is ready should a staff member look to speak to them. 

The maximum number participating will be 12 to ensure that everybody has time to practice skills.   

Dates include:

  • 8 September 2022
  • 18 October 2022

Commences

8 September 2022 | 18 October 2022 Bookings for this course close one week in advance of start date.

Key Facts

This workshop is an interactive programme of training with an emphasis on engagement and skill building.  The workshop can be delivered in-house for clients or at a mutually agreed regional venue should a number of organisations wish to come together and schedule an event.  For details contact Maebh O’Connor via email: moconnor@ipa.ie.

Duration

One Day Course

Fees & Enrolment

Fee: The fee for this one day workshop is €400 per person. 

Booking: Bookings must be received in writing using a booking form or the online booking option (see below).

All bookings will be confirmed via email. Please send completed booking forms to:

Central Bookings Office
Institute of Public Administration
57-61 Lansdowne Road, Dublin D04 TC62
Tel: (01) 240 3666 | Fax: (01) 668 9135
Email: training@ipa.ie

All IPA courses are subject to minimum participant numbers.

Cancellation Policy: Please note, that in the event of a cancellation less than 48 working hours before the commencement of a course, a 15% cancellation fee will be charged.  Cancellation fee will also apply to non-arrivals on the day.

Progression

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The Programme

A new Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work written by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has been in place since December 2020 (S.I. 674 of 2020, Industrial Relations Act 1990). 

The role of the Contact Person, Support Contact Person or the Designated Contact Person is an integral part of the Dignity at Work process.   The function of the Contact Person is to listen, be supportive and outline the options open to an employee who believes they may be experiencing bullying behaviour by somebody they are coming in contact with in their workplace or through their work. The Contact Person acts as a first point of contact, somebody to speak with in confidence about what might be happening with a view to considering what the next actions might be.  The Contact Person will explain the definitions of bullying behaviour and the various elements of the procedure and will assist the employee in making an informed choice about what action, if any the employee may wish to take.  

The aim of this workshop is to consider this specific role and help build the confidence of those who have volunteered to undertake it on behalf of their organisation.  

In accordance with the code of practice the Contact Person does not act as an advocate or representative for the employee and may not approach the alleged perpetrator on his or her behalf.

They will have no role in the investigation of any complaints and should not be tasked with any further involvement in the details or right and wrongs of a complaint.  Understanding the boundaries of the role is an essential part of this role – resolution of the issue is not the role of the Contact Person.

Who is this for?

The Role of the Contact Person and Designated Contact Person in the Dignity at Work Process is specifically for those who have been nominated or volunteered to undertake this role for their organisation

In addition, this workshop would be of benefit to HR professionals who are working to support the Dignity at Work process and assess cases coming before them.  Consideration of the how the role of the Contact Person could be given a higher profile will be a topic for discussion on the day.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this workshop participants will have:

  • Developed a detailed knowledge and understanding of the Code of Practice (S.I. 674 of 2020) relating to the prevention and resolution of bullying behaviours and the revisions in the Dignity at Work Policy.
  • A clear understanding  of the essential interpersonal qualities for the role of the Contact Person. 
  • A clear understanding of the boundaries of the role within the Dignity at Work legislative process.
  • A clear understanding of the causes of indignity in the workplace and the options available:- 
    • The Mediation Process (undertaken in accordance with the Mediation Act 2017). 
    • The Informal Resolution Process  (both the initial and the secondary process).  
    • The Formal Investigative Resolution Process.
Course Content

The Role of the Contact Person in the Dignity At Work Process workshop will focus on: 

  • Understanding the revisions required in a Dignity at WorkPolicy following the implementation of S.I. 674
  • Understand the key qualities of a Contact Person while acknowledging the boundaries of the role.
  • Developing critical listening skills and techniques to improve the Contact Person’s interpersonal skills  
  • Understand the blockages to communication which staff meeting the Contact Person may experience and the importance of the Contact Person actively listening, non-judgementally and without expressing personal views – the role of the Contact Person is to act as a filter or  ‘sounding board’.
  • Know the practicalities of meeting with a complainant or an alleged perpetrator e.g. Contact Person’s do not take notes and would not meet both parties to an allegation.  
Course Leader

The Role of the Contact Person in the Dignity at Work Process workshop will be delivered by Margaret Ramsay, IPA Associate Specialist or by Maebh O’Connor, HRM Specialist.

  • Margaret Ramsay is an Associate HRM Specialist/Consultant with the IPA.  She is a Senior HR Practitioner with over 30 years’ experience of operational and strategic HRM at a senior management level in the public service in Ireland and the UK.  Margaret is a Certified Workplace Mediator and an experienced Trainer and Coach. Margaret works extensively in the field of Dignity at Work and regularly delivers workshops on the role and function of the Contact Person.  
  • Maebh O'Connor is a member of the Human Resource Management Delivery and Consultancy team and prior to this she was a member of the IPA Leadership and Management team.  Maebh works extensively in the field of employee well-being and dignity at work and the impact this has on employee motivation and productivity.
    Maebh completed the IPA/UCD Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality and is a Certified Mediator.  Maebh also delivers workshops on Dignity at Work related topics such as the role of the Secondary Resolution Process, the role of the Contact Person and Dignity at Work awareness in revised HR policies.

 

 

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