UCL News


Guidance for UCL staff: What to do if you see or experience racism or harassment

14 July 2016

UCL does not tolerate racism, xenophobia or harassment in the work place or in study.


All staff are responsible for ensuring that they behave in an appropriate manner, showing respect for staff, students and others working alongside or engaged with the UCL community. All staff are encouraged to appropriately challenge inappropriate behaviours and raise concerns with managers so these can be dealt with. This note provides you with guidance on what you should do if you experience or witness racism, xenophobia or harassment.

What you should do:

Take steps to address it immediately (as appropriate):

1. Where possible, try and resolve the incident through an informal approach. This may involve a private (confidential) discussion with the alleged perpetrator making it clear that such behaviour is unacceptable.

2. If you are unable to resolve the incident in the first instance, you should report it to your manager (or appropriate manager) or your department's HR Advisory Services contact. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/consultancy/index.php

3. Your manager will make every effort to resolve the complaint promptly. If your manager is unable to resolve the incident or you are not satisfied with the outcome, s/he will seek advice from your department's HR Advisory Services contact.

4. Where the matter is more complex, your department's HR Advisory Services contact will advise you and your manager on the next steps. This may include advice on the formal process should you decide to submit a formal complaint in accordance with UCL's Grievance Policy and Procedure. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/docs/grievance.php

If you judge that an incident that you experienced or witnessed on a College campus is violent or aggressive, you should report it to UCL Security as soon as possible on extension 222 (internal) or 02076795555 (external). However, in more serious cases, for example where the behaviour may potentially be of a criminal nature or criminal behaviour is alleged, it is important that you inform your HR Advisory Services contact immediately and they will work closely with you and provide the necessary support which may include reporting the matter to the police.  

Incidents of harassment or racism outside UCL

If you experience or witness incidents of harassment or racism outside UCL, you should report it immediately to the relevant person in authority where the incident occurred or the police.

Contacts for further advice and support

The following are useful contacts for additional support and help.

Dignity at Work Advisers (informal support for staff experiencing bullying and harassment in the workplace) - http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/equalities/Dignity/staff.php

Dignity at Work Statement - http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/docs/dignity-at-work.php

Employee Assistance Programme: Staff Support Service  


Mediation Service (fair and impartial method for the resolution of conflicts and disputes)



For students

Out-of-hours telephone service to support students -UCL 24/7 Student Support Line


Advice and assistance for students experiencing bullying and harassment -


Student Support and Wellbeing - http://www.ucl.ac.uk/current-students/support

Policy on Harassment and Bullying (Students)



Additional Information - Zero Tolerance Campaign To further demonstrate its commitment to zero tolerance to harassment and racism, UCL will continue to work closely with UCLU to develop training for staff to further understanding of harassment and how it can be eliminated across UCL. In addition, UCL will continue to hold Zero Tolerance workshops for incoming students. http://uclu.org/sexualharassment


Charles Oboh, Director of HR Advisory Services, UCL Human Resources