Confidential advisors at the UT

Code of conduct on (sexual) harassment and intimidation


This Code of conduct on (sexual) harassment, intimidation, aggression, violence and discrimination is an elaboration of the objective of the parties to the Collective Labour Agreement to create guarantees for a pleasant and stimulating work climate within the Dutch universities. Collegiality, respect and attention for the other person are considered normal manners in a pleasant and stimulating work climate, and undesired behaviour is responded to promptly. Such a climate requires an active contribution of each person working at the UT: not only with respect to his or her own behaviour, but also concerning alertness towards every form of undesired behaviour witnessed in the staff member’s own work situation. Undesired behaviour is always to be brought up, either by making calling to account the persons involved themselves or by calling in third parties. The purpose of the behavioural code is to bring these starting points explicitly to the attention of the university community at all levels.


This behavioural code was adopted by the Executive Board in accordance with the OPUT on 28 June 2000.


This behavioural code is applicable to all staff of the university as regards their behaviour towards:

  • other employees of the university
  • other persons working on the authority of the university, such as visiting lecturers, students on work placement and temps,
  • (employees of) third parties who perform activities on the university premises,
  • students and visitors of the university.


Sexual harassment: undesired sexual advances in the form of requests for sexual favours or other verbal, non-verbal or physical behaviour (including unsolicited dispatch or viewing, visible to others, pornographic and/or sexual pictures or texts including via the internet).

Aggression and violence: bullying, harassing someone mentally or physically, threatening or attacking others.

Discrimination: expressing oneself in any form whatsoever on, performing acts towards or taking decisions with respect to persons that are insulting for these persons because of their race, religion, sex, philosophy of life and/or sexual inclination, or making any distinction on the basis of these factors (race, religion, etc.).

Sexual harassment, aggression, violence and discrimination can be exploited in the following ways:

  • subjection to the undesired behaviour is used, explicitly or implicitly, as a condition for the used person’s employment;
  • subjection to or rejection of the undesired behaviour is used as a basis for decisions that affect the used person’s work or study;
  • the purpose or consequence of the undesired behaviour is that the work or study performance of the person addressed is affected and/or that an intimidating, hostile or unpleasant work or study climate is created.

Preventive policy

The formulation of this behavioural code will be part of the preventive policy. Preventive policy concerning sexual harassment and other forms of intimidation, aggression, violence and discrimination is part of the comprehensive university staffing policy, which is to be given shape by:

  • Making the code sufficiently known;
  • Providing adequate information about the policy and risks of sexual harassment and other forms of intimidation, aggression, violence and discrimination within the institute;
  • Systematically defining the risks concerning undesired behavior within the context of the Risk Assessment & Evaluation in the context of the Working Conditions Act 1998;
  • Eliminating or reducing the risks concerning undesired behavior;
  • Supervising compliance of the behavioral code;
  • Training supervisory staff within the institute;
  • Embedding the behavioral code within the functioning and assessment policy.


The university has a staff counsellor. He or she has an independent position and enjoys protection from the employer. Tasks of the counsellor include among other things:

  • providing information on undesired behavior
  • ensuring adequate support for the person filing a complaint on undesired behavior
  • ensuring a confidential handling of information
  •  attempting to find an informal solution
  • assisting the complainant in filing a formal complaint and possibly in the formal settlement of it.

Complaints procedure

The university has a complaints procedure (sexual) harassment and other intimidation, aggression, violence and discrimination. The main elements of this procedure are:

  •  Sanctions
    The procedure states the sanctions applicable by law or under the Collective Labour Agreement.
  • Confidentiality
    The procedure has a clause in which the confidential nature of the complaint handling is guaranteed.
  • Complaints committee
    The procedure has a clause in which the composition of an independent, competent complaints committee is stated.
  • Period of complaint
    The procedure states the term in which the complaint is to be submitted in order to be considered