Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About usOur organizationRules and regulationsConfidentiality, complaints, objections and appeals

Complaints Regulation concerning Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Aggression, Violence and Discrimination University of Groningen 2009

The Board of the University of Groningen,

in accordance with the relevant legislation:
section 9 General Administrative Law Act

and also in accordance with:
article 1.12 Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU)
Code of conduct concerning harassment, sexual harassment, aggression, violence and discrimination University of Groningen 2009

has decided to establish the following regulation:

Article 1 Definition

Sexual harassment:
any unwelcome sexual advance in the form of requests for sexual favours or other verbal, non-verbal or physical behaviour (including the unsolicited sending or deliberate consultation of pornographic images or texts in a way that is visible to others, including via the internet).
Aggression and violence:
the deliberate verbal expression or use of physical force or power, or threat to use physical force or power, directed at an employee or student .
Discrimination:

in any way making statements about, acting against or taking decisions about people that insult them by virtue of their race, religion, sex, creed and/or sexual orientation, or making any distinction on the basis of these aspects.

Bullying:

the systematic, repeated psychological abuse of a colleague or fellow student by a person or group.
Complaints committee :
the independent expert Complaints Committee for Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Aggression, Violence and Discrimination (SIAGD) set up by the Board of the University.
Complainant (m/f):
the person or persons who have lodged a written complaint with the Board of the University.
Complaints may be lodged by:

employees of the University of Groningen
people not employed by the University of Groningen but who carry out work
on University premises, and
people enrolled as students at the University.

Other party :
the person whose conduct the complaint relates to.

Article 2 Lodging a complaint

  1. Anyone who believes themselves to be a victim of unwelcome behaviour such as sexual harassment, aggression, violence, bullying and discrimination perpetrated by a member of staff of the University or a student enrolled at the University may lodge a complaint to the Board of the University.
  2. If several people believe themselves to be victims of sexual harassment, aggression, violence, bullying and discrimination perpetrated by the same person or persons, they may lodge a joint complaint with the Board of the University.
  3. The complaint should be submitted in writing to the Board of the University, Attn. Secretary of the Complaints Committee for Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Aggression, Violence and Discrimination, Antwoordnummer 172, 9700 VB Groningen .
  4. The complaint must be signed and should contain at least the following:
    a. the name and address of the person filing the complaint
    b. the date
    c. a description of the behaviours to which the complaint refers.

Article 3 Confidential advisor

Lodging a complaint leaves intact the option of discussing the unwelcome behaviours with the University’s confidential advisor.

Article 4 Confirmation of receipt

The Board of the University will confirm receipt of the complaint in writing.

Article 5 Complaints committee

  1. The complaint will be handled by the Complaints Committee for Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Aggression, Violence and Discrimination.
  2. The committee will discharge its duties without prejudice.
  3. The committee will comprise three members and three deputies. One member and one deputy will be from outside the University community. One member and one deputy will be jointly appointed by the University Council (UR) and the Local Consultative Body (LO).
  4. The Board of the University will appoint members to the committee for a period of four years.
  5. The chair and deputy chair will be appointed.
  6. The committee will have the services of an official secretary.  

Article 6 Challenges and exemptions

  1. Any committee member may be challenged at the request of either party by reason of facts or circumstances that may influence the committee’s partiality.
  2. The request for challenge should be made as soon as the facts or circumstances are made known to the applicant.
  3. The committee will reach a decision about a request for challenge as quickly as possible. The committee will give reasons for its decision and will notify the parties of its decision as quickly as possible.
  4. In the event of a frivolous complaint, the committee may determine that a subsequent request should not be addressed.
  5. A committee member may request that he or she be exempted on account of facts and circumstances that may influence his or her partiality.
  6. The committee will reach a decision about an exemption request as quickly as possible.
  7. If a committee member is challenged or exempted, the deputy will take his or her place.

Article 7 Reasons for non-consideration of complaints

  1. The Board of the University is not obliged to handle any complaint relating to behaviour:
    a. about which a complaint has already been lodged and addressed in accordance with article 4
      ff
    b. which took place more than 18 months before the complaint is lodged
    c. about which the complainant has raised or could have raised an objection
    d. against which the complainant can appeal or could have appealed
    e. that is or has been placed before a judicial body other than an administrative court judge
      through the initiation of legal proceedings, or
    f.  concerning which a criminal investigation ordered by the public prosecutor or legal action is in
       progress, or which is part of the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offence and a
      criminal investigation ordered by the public prosecutor or legal action regarding that matter
      is in progress.
  2. The Board of the University is not obliged to address the complaint if the interests of the complainant or the gravity of the behaviour is clearly insufficient.
  3. The complainant will be notified as soon as possible in writing of the decision not to handle the complaint, and no later than within four weeks of receiving the complaint.  

Article 8 Complaint and notice of objection

If in relation to the unwelcome behaviour an employee lodges both a written complaint and a notice of objection, the complaint may be dealt with in the same procedure as the notice of objection.

Article 9 The investigation

  1. The committee will begin its investigation into the unwelcome behaviour to which the complaint relates as soon as possible after receiving the complaint.
  2. A copy of the complaint together with the accompanying documents will be sent to the person whose behaviour the complaint relates to.
  3. The Board of the University will give the complainant and the person whose behaviour the complaint relates to an opportunity to be heard.
  4. Hearing of the complainant can be waived if the complaint is clearly frivolous, or if the complainant has expressed a wish not to make use of the right to be heard.
  5. A report of the hearing will be written up.
  6. If desired, the committee may give the Board of the University an interim opinion. The committee may also undertake an attempt at mediation.
  7. If no interim opinion is given or no attempt at mediation is undertaken, the chair of the committee will ensure that the investigation is completed within 30 days of the complaint being lodged. In the event of an interim opinion being provided or an attempt at mediation being made, the investigation will be completed as soon as possible thereafter.  

Article 10 Confidentiality and secrecy

  1. All documents relating to the complaint are strictly confidential.
  2. Committee members are bound to secrecy.
  3. The meetings of the committee are closed.
  4. The committee may call on people to provide information, whether or not at the request of the complainant or the other party. These people are bound to secrecy about what they hear at the meeting.
  5. The committee is authorized to consult experts if it considers this to be necessary for the investigation. These experts are bound to secrecy.
  6. The committee is also authorized to gather information by other means within the University and to ask for documents which it wishes to examine in connection with issuing an opinion.  

Article 11 Support for complainant and the other party

  1. Both the complainant and the other party may be supported during the complaints procedure by a mentor who they have chosen themselves, which may also be the confidential advisor.
  2. Lodging a complaint or supporting a complainant or the other party may in no way damage that person’s own position within the organization.
  3. The complainant may at any time during the procedure ask the committee to end the procedure. The committee will submit its opinion to the Board of the University, which will reach a decision after considering the interests of all concerned.  

Article 12 The committee’s opinion

  1. Once the committee has completed its investigation, it will produce an opinion.
  2. The committee will send the report of its findings, together with the opinion and any recommendations, to the Board of the University within ten days of completing its investigation.
  3. The committee will also send its opinion to the complainant and the other party.  

Article 13 Handling of the opinion by the Board of the University

  1. The Board of the University will notify the complainant, in writing and giving reasons, of the findings of the investigation into the complaint together with any related conclusions.
  2. If the conclusions of the Board of the University differ from the opinion of the committee, the notification in writing will state the reasons for this discrepancy and the opinion will also be sent with the above notification.
  3. If a further complaint may subsequently be lodged with a person or committee appointed to handle complaints about the Board of the University, this fact will be mentioned in the notification.  

Article 14 Registration

The Board of the University will see to the registration of the written complaints submitted to it.

Article 15 Final provision

  1. This regulation may be cited as the Complaints Regulation concerning Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Aggression, Violence and Discrimination University of Groningen 2009.
  2. When this regulation takes effect, it will supersede the Regulation concerning Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Aggression, Violence and Discrimination University of Groningen established by the Board of the University on 24 July 2001.
  3. This regulation will take effect on 1 February 2009.

Agreed, following endorsement by the Local Consultative Body and the student representatives of the University Council, by the Board of the University of Groningen on 20 January 2009.

Last modified:03 July 2015 10.05 a.m.
printView this page in: Nederlands