The IO Foundation

Anti harassment & Anti bullying

Version 1.0 | This Policy was approved on 01 March 2022.
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This document employs terms related to the DCDR Advocacy that can be found in the TIOF terminology.
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About this document

This document, hereinafter the Policy, sets out the position maintained by TIOF in matters of Anti-harassment and Anti-bullying that you will need to be aware of while being a TIOF Member. You should familiarize yourself with it and comply with it at all times. Any questions you may have with regard to its contents or what you have to do to comply with it should be referred to your corresponding Team Human Resources Manager.
This Policy covers harassment or bullying which occurs in or out of TIOF Spaces, including at TIOF-related events or social functions. It covers bullying and harassment by TIOF Members and also by Contributors, such as customers, suppliers or visitors to our premises.
Any Member who breaches this Policy will face disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal for gross misconduct. Any non-employee who breaches this Policy may have their contract (or equivalent official relationship with TIOF) terminated with immediate effect.
This document complements TIOF's Code of Conduct.
This document does not form part of any Engagement Document and we may amend it at any time following the procedures described in TIOF's Statute.


This document directly applies to:
This document indirectly applies to:
The policies set out in this document apply to all TIOF Members unless otherwise indicated. They therefore apply to Members of the Boards (Directors, Advisers, Consultants), Employees, Volunteers and Interns; this is irrespective of their engagement type. They equally apply to all Contributors and will be used as part of the selection criteria when engaging with them.
This Policy applies within all TIOF Spaces, including (although not limited to) management activities, contributions or events; it and also applies when an individual is officially representing the organization in public spaces. Examples of representing the organization include (although not limited to) using an official e-mail address, posting via any official channel or acting as an appointed representative at an event.
Review and Amendments This policy shall be reviewed regularly to ensure its continued relevance and effectiveness. Amendments may be made to adapt to new legal requirements, changing circumstances or to better serve the organization's Mission.

Policy details

Anti harassment and Anti bullying statement

The IO Foundation is committed to providing an advocacy environment free from harassment and bullying and ensuring all Members are treated, and treat others, with dignity and respect.

What is harassment?

Harassment is any unwanted physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct that has the purpose of violating a person's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or otherwise offensive environment for them. A single incident can amount to harassment.
Harassment also includes treating someone less favorably because they have submitted or refused to submit to such behavior in the past.
Unlawful harassment may involve conduct of a sexual nature (sexual harassment) or may be related to any given personal, immutable characteristic dimension.
Harassment is unacceptable even if it does not fall within any of these categories.
Harassment may include, for example:
  • Unwanted physical conduct or "horseplay", including assault, touching, pinching, pushing, grabbing and intentionally blocking normal movement or interfering with work;
  • unwelcomed sexual advances, suggestive behavior or invitations;
  • offensive e-mails, text messages or otherwise content;
  • mocking, mimicking or belittling a person's disability;
  • visual displays such as derogatory or sexually-oriented imagery, photography, cartoons, drawings or gestures.
It is important to note that while all complains of this nature will be examined rigorously, TIOF is a firm defender of both the principles of intent and of presumption of innocence and will always proceed with due diligence to investigate and resolve conflict under the framework provided by the applicable law.

What is bullying?

Bullying is purposely offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behavior involving the misuse of power that can make a person feel vulnerable, upset, humiliated, undermined or threatened. Power does not always mean being in a position of authority, it can include both personal strength and the power to coerce through fear or intimidation as well as the ability to reassign resources at will.
Bullying can take the form of physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct.
Bullying may include, by way of example:
  • physical or psychological threats;
  • overbearing and intimidating levels of supervision;
  • inappropriate derogatory remarks about someone's performance.
Legitimate, reasonable and constructive criticism of a Member's performance or behavior, as well as reasonable instructions given to them in the course of their responsibilities, will not amount to bullying on their own.

If you are being harassed or bullied

If you are being harassed or bullied, consider whether you feel able to raise the problem informally with the person responsible. You should explain clearly to them that their behavior is not welcome or makes you uncomfortable. If this is too difficult or embarrassing, we encourage you to reach out to your respect Team Human Resources Manager, who can and will provide confidential advice and assistance in resolving the issue either formally or informally.
If informal steps are not possible or appropriate, or have not been successful, you should raise the matter formally under our Grievance Procedures. The complain will be investigated in a timely and confidential manner and will be conducted by someone with appropriate experience and no prior involvement in the complaint, where possible.
Details of the investigation and the names of the person making the complaint and the person accused must only be disclosed on a need to know basis.
We will consider whether any steps are necessary to manage any ongoing relationship between you and the person accused during the investigation.
Once the investigation is complete, we will inform you of our decision. If we consider you have been harassed or bullied by an employee the matter will be dealt with under the Disciplinary Procedures as a case of possible misconduct or gross misconduct. If the perpetrator is a Contributor or any other third party, we will consider what action would be appropriate to deal with the problem.
Whether or not your complaint is upheld, we will consider how best to manage any ongoing working relationship between all the parties concerned.

Protection and support for those involved

Members who make complaints or who participate in good faith in any investigation must not suffer any form of retaliation or victimization as a result.
Anyone found to have retaliated against someone in this way, or made accusations under this policy in bad faith, will be subject to disciplinary action under our Disciplinary Procedures

False accusations

We take false accusations just as seriously as the alleged misconduct.
Should the investigation conclude that the accusation was false, the matter will be dealt with under the Disciplinary Procedures as a case of possible misconduct or gross misconduct.


Information about a complaint by or about a Member may be placed on the Member's personnel file, along with a record of the outcome and of any notes or other documents compiled during the process.
These will be processed in accordance with our Data Protection Policy.
Members are always welcome to request access to their personnel file by requesting it to their corresponding Team Human Resources Manager.