Prevention on the part of the employer
Openness, better expertise and awareness about harassment are important aspects of preventative work and they help to promote a good working environment.
At the University of Oslo no-one, neither employees nor students shall experience being subjected to harassment or bullying. The working environment at the UiO shall be safe and inclusive.
The UiO has therefore drawn up Guidelines against harassment as part of its preventative work.
Impact on health
Being subjected to harassment can be extremely stressful and preventative work is therefore important for minimising the risks involved in harassment occurring at the UiO. Although the degree of impact on one’s health may vary, being subjected to harassment can result in:
- Feelings of insecurity
- Thoughts milling around in one’s head
- Mental stress
- Low self-esteem
- Anxiety and depression
- Leaving one’s job/breaking off one’s studies
The Occupational Health Service
The UiO’s Occupational Health Service (BHT) offers supportive talks for people experiencing conflict, mediation in conflicts and leadership support. The BHT facilitates risk identification and offers tailored courses and workshops for the university’s units.
Tools for preventative work
A good working environment for everyone is something the university needs to work on continuously. Managers should set a good example and be aware of their own behaviour and use of language. In order to achieve a good working environment, managers should include employees in preventative work. It is important that the threshold is low in respect of talking about and addressing harassment issues. Managers should ensure that topics are placed on the agenda at regular intervals.
Risk identification is a tool designed to increase awareness about harassment. Identifying risks with one’s employees will help to make the employer aware of risk groups and risk areas at the workplace. In this way the employer can work more purposefully and minimise the risks involved in employees being subjected to harassment. Undertaking risk identification can also be an important tool in respect of engaging in discussions about how people would like the workplace to be.
Employers and employees have joined forces with the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority and the Equality and Anti-discrimination Ombudsman in order to make it easier to talk about sexual harassment at work.
This has been designed as a quiz and it addresses 12 dilemmas associated with sexual harassment. The various answer options form the basis for reflection and discussions which are to be linked to one’s own working environment.
Identifying bullying and harassment
The threshold for speaking out about harassment or inappropriate behaviour may be high. Few cases are reported, but research shows that both men and women harass others and are subjected to harassment.
A national survey of bullying and harassment in the university and university college sector (uia.no) (Norwegian) which was conducted during the spring of 2019 showed that 13% of employees at the UiO have experienced bullying and harassment in connection with their work during the course of the last year.
- See the Institution Report for UiO - short version (ppt) (Norwegian)
- See the extended version of the Institution Report for UiO (ppt) (Norwegian)
Courses on conflict management and handling cases which have been reported
The UiO offers courses for managers on conflict and reporting management:
- Handling cases that have been reported
- Handling and preventing harassment
- Conflict management
- Difficult chats
- Chats with fellow employees
External partners who can provide help
The UiO has framework agreements with a number of external partners (Norwegian) who can provide help with preventing and handling conflicts, etc.