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Our Dignity and Respect Policy


Our Customer Contract sets out our aim to be helpful, polite and friendly in the delivery of our services, and to treat our customers fairly and with respect. In return, we expect our customers to treat our colleagues politely and with respect.

This guide sets out how we will deal with inappropriate behaviour by customers towards our colleagues.

Providing a safe work environment

Our colleagues have the right to work in a safe and secure environment. This means we will always challenge any violence, aggression or abuse directed at them and take appropriate action against perpetrators.

Types of inappropriate behaviour

Examples of inappropriate behaviour include:

  • verbal abuse or threatening behaviour that causes distress, fear, intimidation or harassment
  • physical abuse, including touching, gesturing, pushing, striking, stalking, spitting, unwanted intrusion into a colleague’s “reasonable space” or the intentional use of an object towards a colleague
  • hate crimes, such as verbal abuse, physical assault, damage to property, threats, intimidation or harassment on the basis of a colleague’s race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation or other protected characteristic.

Please note that this is not a definitive list.


If you are found to have behaved inappropriately towards a colleague, appropriate action will be taken. Consideration will always be given to the severity and nature of the incident when deciding on an appropriate sanction. This may include:

  • giving you a verbal warning
  • giving you a written warning
  • requesting a visit or meeting with you
  • restricting access to services or ultimately withdrawing services from you.

In very serious incidents, the decision may be made to move straight to a restriction or the withdrawal services.

Where the decision is made to restrict or withdraw services, this will be confirmed in writing, and include the reasons for the decision and a timescale for the restriction to be reviewed.

Other actions that may be taken include reporting the incident to the Police, where appropriate.

Customer’s right to raise concerns

If you wish to challenge the council’s decision to apply a sanction or restriction, you can raise your concerns through its Corporate Complaints Process.

Find out more about the complaints process and how to make a Corporate Complaint

Last updated: 17/11/2023 13:05