Resolution of the Board of Governors of 11 April 2018

Pursuant to Spanish Act 31/1995, of 8 November, on occupational hazard prevention and Spanish Royal Decree 39/1997, of 17 January, approving the Regulations for Prevention Services, an occupational hazard prevention plan is understood as the ordered set of actions required to implement an occupational hazard prevention system. Consequently, such documents set out suitable procedures for establishing the proper way to carry out certain activities or tasks and for monitoring the effectiveness thereof, a key aspect in all continuous improvement processes.

Under the resolution adopted on 6 May 2015, the Board of Governors of UPF approved the Pompeu Fabra University Code on Violent, Discriminatory and Harassing Behaviours, whereby UPF undertakes to prevent the occurrence of exclusionary, humiliating, degrading or offensive behaviours towards members of the university community, as well as to implement and maintain procedures for preventing and resolving conflicts arising from such behaviours.

In accordance with the second point of the aforementioned resolution, the protocols and procedures established as a result of the Code on Violent, Discriminatory and Harassing Behaviours must be approved by the university's Board of Governors.

For the preparation of the present protocol, current legislation on the matter and other technical documents published by prestigious organizations were taken into account.

As for the legal framework, attention should be called to: the Spanish Constitution; the Catalan Statute of Autonomy; Spanish Royal Decree-Law 2/2015, of 23 October, approving the amended text of the Workers' Statute Act; Spanish Act 31/1995, on occupational hazard prevention, and Spanish Royal Decree 39/1997, approving the Regulations for Prevention Services; Spanish Organic Law 1/2004, of 28 December, on measures for comprehensive protection against gender-based violence; Spanish Organic Law 3/2007, of 22 March, on the effective equality of women and men; Catalan Act 17/2015, of 21 July, on the effective equality of women and men; Spanish Royal Decree-Law 5/2015, of 30 October, approving the amended text of the Basic Civil Service Statute Act; and Catalan Act 5/2008, of 24 April, on women's right to eradicate gender-based violence.

Amongst the technical documents, and with a view to ensuring reliability, attention should be called to those issued by the Spanish National Institute of Safety and Hygiene at Work (INSHT), the competent technical body of the central government, as well as those issued by other prestigious benchmark institutions in the matter, such as the Trade Union Institute for Work, the Environment and Health (ISTAS) or the Basque Monitoring Centre for Workplace Bullying.

Action protocols prepared by other universities and public authorities, such as the Protocol approved in June 2009 by the Catalan government or the Action Protocol against Workplace Bullying adopted by the central government in April 2011, were likewise taken into account.

The official representative bodies of contracted employees (workers' committees) and civil servants (administrative and service staff and teaching and research staff committees) were consulted prior to the protocol's approval through the respective prevention officers.

Therefore, in consideration of the above

Sole point. The Protocol for Preventing and Resolving Conflicts Involving Violent, Discriminatory or Harassing Behaviours, annexed hereto, is approved.

Repeal. The Procedure for Preventing and Resolving Conflicts Involving Violent, Discriminatory or Harassing Behaviour, approved by the general manager in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by the resolution of the Board of Governors of 6 April 2011, is hereby repealed, notwithstanding its continued application to any proceedings initiated under its provisions.

1. Purpose

The purpose of the Protocol for preventing and resolving conflicts involving workplace bullying is to define the essential, minimum criteria for managing behaviours perceived as bullying within the context of the management and organization of the administrative or academic unit to which the person or persons targeted by such behaviours belong, whether ocurring in the discharge of their professional duties or as a direct consequence thereof.

The specific purposes are:

a) To prevent the occurrence of bullying amongst the university's public employees.

b) To establish guidelines for detecting behaviours such as those described in section 5 below; investigating them; and, where applicable, initiating the necessary administrative actions to deal with them and determine potential disciplinary liability.

2. Scope of application

2.1. Objective scope of application: any of the behaviours defined in section 5 of this protocol, provided they simultaneously meet all the following requirements:

-They are repeated and frequent or, if occasional, considered serious.

-They are hostile and degrading for the recipient, harming that person's reputation or undermining his or her personal dignity and/or impeding the discharge of his or her professional duties and/or involving the manipulation of information and/or encouraging situations of unfairness. 

-They are carried out with harmful, offensive or humiliating intent vis-à-vis the recipient's personal dignity and moral integrity or with a view to deteriorating the workplace environment.

-They may potentially be, or have already been, harmful to a person's health.

These behaviours may be carried out verbally, in person, or by electronic means

(e-mail, social media, WhatsApp, etc.).

2.2. Subjective scope of application: the person or persons allegedly concerned and the alleged perpetrator or perpetrators of the behaviour must be public employees at UPF This protocol will likewise apply if it has been less than one year since the person allegedly concerned ceased to belong to UPF's administrative and service staff or teaching and research staff, for whatever reason, provided the alleged perpetrator or perpetrators of the behaviour continue to belong to the UPF staff and the reported events took place prior to the date on which the person concerned ceased to be linked to the university.

2.3. Organizational scope of application: the behaviour must occur within the scope of the university's organization and/or its provision of services, i.e.:

-Anywhere on campus or at a university facility.

-Anywhere off campus, provided the behaviour occurs in the context of an activity or service organized by UPF.

The scope of application of this document will not include complaints related to ordinary interpersonal conflicts in the workplace; disagreements over the exercise of rights or discharge of duties in the context of labour relations (changes in jobs, compensation, etc.); work-related stress due, amongst other factors, to the organization of, pace of and time spent working; or the exercise of corporate power. These situations will be referred for management within the context of the assessment of psychosocial risks.

3. Procedural principles and guarantees

3.1. Respect and protection. The necessary discretion will be exercised to protect the privacy and dignity of the parties concerned. The actions and proceedings will be conducted with the utmost respect for all parties involved. All parties participating in this protocol will be informed of its content and the person allegedly concerned by the behaviour must always consent to its application.

3.2. Confidentiality. The information generated and provided as a result of the actions for the proceedings established in section 7 below will be confidential and will only be accessible to the staff directly responsible for processing it. Therefore, the confidentiality of complaints is guaranteed. The dissemination of documents related to any submitted query or complaint is prohibited.

Only the parties involved in the events, in their capacity as interested parties, will have access to the documents included in a given case. Exceptionally, information may be provided to the corresponding legal authorities, when so requested in the context of legal proceedings being conducted in relation to the same events. When the requested information is a police report, it may only be provided when the request is made in the exercise of the duties of the judiciary police.

All persons participating in any of the actions for the proceedings established in section 7 below, whether as one of the parties to them, a Committee member, or in any other capacity, have the obligation not to disclose any information to which they may have access as a result thereof. The complainant must act in accordance with the requirements of good faith.

3.3. Diligence and dispatch. The information-gathering process will be conducted as quickly as possible and with the utmost sensitivity and respect for the rights of all parties concerned. The investigation and resolution of the conflict will be carried out with professionalism and diligence and without undue delays, so that the proceedings can be concluded in the shortest time possible, notwithstanding the guarantees. The information obtained in the proceedings provided for in this protocol must be included, where applicable, in any administrative proceedings initiated by the corresponding authority.

In any case, the maximum period to complete the actions provided for in this protocol may not exceed three months from the start of the proceedings as set out in section 7.2.1 below, except in cases that, due to their special complexity, require more time.

3.4. Hearing, impartiality and contradiction. The proceedings must ensure the hearing, fair treatment and defence of all parties involved, who may be accompanied by the person of their choice, including a trade union representative or legal counsel, should they so request.

3.5. Protection of the dignity of the concerned parties. The university will take appropriate measures to safeguard the right to the protection of the dignity of the concerned parties, including the alleged victim or victims and the alleged perpetrator or perpetrators of the bullying, providing them with support in the various stages of the proceedings.

3.6. Protection from possible reprisals. Measures will be taken to ensure that no reprisals are undertaken against anyone who files a complaint, testifies as a witness, or participates in an investigation into behaviours such as those described herein, except in cases in which they have acted in bad faith, which may result in disciplinary liability.

3.7. Non-duplication of proceedings. The initiation of disciplinary proceedings or opening of a preliminary investigation at UPF is entirely independent of any legal actions the parties concerned may wish to undertake in court and of any cooperation that may be requested in the context of a judicial investigation.

When the same events are the subject of criminal proceedings, the rector will suspend the disciplinary proceedings or preliminary investigation, pending the final court decision in the criminal proceedings. Findings of fact in criminal proceedings will be binding in the resolution of the administrative proceedings.

The actions for the proceedings established in section 7 below will likewise be suspended when other administrative proceedings have been initiated in relation to the same events and such proceedings have not yet been resolved.

4. Preventive measures

Pompeu Fabra University, acting through its various collective and individual bodies, will promote information, awareness-raising and training actions with regard to workplace bullying behaviours with a view to eradicating them from the university environment. To this end, the following measures are planned:

4.1. Development of a communication plan to ensure that all staff are aware of this protocol, to be conducted through the usual dissemination channels.

4.2. Conducting of regular informational and awareness-raising campaigns as provided for in the Plan of Action for Information and Training on Occupational Safety and Health 2017-2020 adopted by resolution of the General Manager on 19 December 2016.

4.3. Implementation of specific training programmes as part of the general training plans for administrative and service staff and teaching and research staff, especially any staff members responsible for team administration and management tasks, and for employee representatives on measures to prevent, detect, and respond to workplace bullying behaviours.

4.4. Implementation of a specific training programme for members of the Permanent Investigative Committee on Conflicts on workplace bullying behaviours. 

4.5. Performance of studies to determine the incidence of workplace bullying situations or behaviours at the university and the characteristics thereof, as well as to seek indicators of the problem and its impact on human health and organizational effectiveness.

4.6. Performance of surveys on the work climate and of a psychosocial risk assessment, to be conducted every four years and whenever the academic and/or administrative units are reorganized.

5. Definitions

5.1. Harassing behaviour: unwanted action, incident or behaviour related to the racial or ethnic origin, religion or beliefs, opinions, disability, birth, age, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation of a person, or any other personal or social condition or circumstance, seeking to or resulting in the undermining of a person's dignity and the creation of an intimidating, humiliating and offensive work environment for them.

Harassment can take multiple forms, depending on the direction of the interactions between the harasser or harassers and the person or persons being harassed and their respective statuses within the organization:

- Downward vertical harassment: pressure exerted by a superior on one or more employees.

- Upward vertical harassment: pressure exerted by an employee or group of employees on a superior.

- Lateral harassment: pressure exerted by an employee or group of employees on a peer.

5.2. Workplace bullying: action of intense psychological violence, repeatedly directed over a prolonged period of time at one or more people by others acting from a position of power (not necessarily hierarchical, but psychological) with the aim of creating a hostile and humiliating environment that interferes with the victim's professional life. This violence occurs in the context of an employment or civil service relationship, but does not reflect the needs of the organization, and it may be an attempt to undermine the dignity of the recipient, as well as be potentially harmful to his or her health. 

By way of example, the following will be considered proof of this type of conduct:

- Consistently leaving the employee with nothing to do or incommunicado without any justifiable cause.

- Giving orders that cannot be fulfilled with the means available to the employee.

- Occupying the employee with useless tasks or tasks that have no productive value.

- Taking reprisals against employees who have raised or filed complaints or brought lawsuits against the university or against those who have collaborated with such claimants.

- Repeatedly insulting or disparaging the employee.

- Repeatedly disparaging the employee in front of other people.

- Spreading false rumours about the employee's work or private life, etc.

6. Bodies responsible for ensuring the protocol

6.1. General bodies

Pursuant to point 5.2, Section 1, Chapter II, Volume III of the Occupational Hazard Prevention Plan, prevention management functions and responsibilities at the university are distributed throughout the various levels of the organization. With regard to the implementation of this protocol, the specific prevention management obligations are distributed amongst the university's authorities as follows:

-The Board of Governors is the competent authority to approve the Plan and any amendments thereto.

-The rector, as the highest university authority, is responsible for occupational hazard prevention and is the competent authority to initiate and resolve the relevant administrative proceedings in order to investigate and determine potential disciplinary liability when there is evidence of possible discriminatory, violent or harassing behaviours.

- The Occupational Health and Safety Committee, as a joint and collective participatory body tasked with conducting regular and periodic checks of UPF's actions in the area of occupational hazard prevention, will be informed of the conclusions reached by the Permanent Investigative Committee on Conflicts, regulated in the following section, with regard to actions to monitor and control any proceedings initiated hereunder.

6.2. Specific bodies

- The Permanent Investigative Committee on Conflicts, as the body responsible for conducting any preliminary investigations that may be opened, will investigate all cases in which there is evidence of possible violent, discriminatory or harassing behaviour. It will moreover monitor the implementation of corrective measures and the effectiveness thereof.

-The Office of the Deputy General Manager of the Human Resources and Organization Area will proceed in accordance with the resolution issued by the rector, based on the conclusions and recommendations of the Permanent Investigative Committee on Conflicts, and will ensure that the corrective measures are applied, together with the Technical Office for Occupational Hazard Prevention, upon conclusion of the intervention.

- The Technical Office for Occupational Hazard Prevention will manage the receipt of complaints; it will assist, inform and interview those persons allegedly affected by the behaviour; it will issue a preliminary assessment report of the reported events and will collaborate on the implementation of the preventive measures provided for in this protocol.

- The administrative and service staff and teaching and research staff management service of the Human Resources and Organization Area will provide any information they may have in the context of the investigative actions carried out by the Permanent Investigative Committee on Conflicts.

- The Administrative and Service Staff Section of the Human Resources and Organization Area and the Centrer for Learning Innovation and Knowledge (CLIK) will take the appropriate measures to include specific training programmes on preventing, detecting and responding to violent, discriminatory or harassing behaviours in the training plans for administrative and service staff and teaching and research staff.

- The Organization and Procedures Unit, in coordination with the Institutional Communication and Promotion Unit, will take the appropriate measures to design a campaign to disseminate the protocol in order to ensure that all employees are aware of it. 

- All other university bodies, offices and managers will:

- Work to reduce and eliminate risk factors conducive to the occurrence of bullying and other psychosocial risk situations.

- Be familiar with this protocol, enforce it and detect any needs to update or improve it.

- Ensure that employees are properly informed about their rights, as well as about the content of this protocol and of all related occupational hazard prevention and disciplinary regime regulations.

- Encourage the initiation of the procedure established in section 7 below when there is evidence of the possible existence of the covered behaviours, collaborating on the implementation thereof when activation of the protocol affects staff from their respective unit.

- Take, where necessary, any corrective or preventive measures that can be applied and are recommended by the Permanent Investigative Committee on Conflicts with a view to resolving the conflict and/or preventing the occurrence of new cases.

- The remaining staff will be aware of and comply with this protocol and notify middle management of any shortcomings they may detect in its application.

6.3. Permanent Investigative Committee on Conflicts

6.3.1. The Committee will consist of:

- the vice-rector appointed by the rector, who will chair the Committee;

- the deputy general manager of the Human Resources and Organization Area;

- two prevention officers, preferably one from the administrative and service staff and one from the teaching and research staff, appointed by the Occupational Health and Safety Committee at the proposal of the prevention officers as a whole,

- the officer specialized in applied psychosociology from the Technical Office for Occupational Hazards Prevention who initiated the actions provided for in the procedure, in an advisory, non-voting capacity, and

- a civil servant from UPF's Human Resources and Organization Area, appointed by the deputy general manager thereof, who will act as secretary of the Committee, in an advisory, non-voting capacity.

The members of the Committee may seek the advice of external or internal third-party specialists in the specific subject matter of each case, who may participate in the discussions in a non-voting capacity. The members of the Committee will guarantee the confidentiality of the data and information obtained throughout the process.

6.3.2. The Committee's procedures will be governed by the regulatory provisions of the legal framework for collective bodies under Catalan Act 26/2010, of 3 August, on the legal framework and procedure for Catalan public administrations.

7. Action plan in the event of workplace bullying behaviours

7.1. Stages of the plan

In the event of the detection or reporting of a possible bullying behaviour between employees, the known objective facts will be examined in order to determine whether they meet the necessary requirements to initiate an inquiry. To this end, the process will consist of the following three stages:

1. Initiation of the process.

2. Conducting of the proceedings.

3. Resolution of the proceedings.

7.2.  First stage: initiation of the process

7.2.1. This part of the process will be initiated ex officio:

- At the rector's own initiative.

- In response to a reasoned request by another body.

- As a result of the filing of a complaint by the person concerned.

- As a result of the filing of a complaint by any member of the university community or third party with direct or indirect knowledge of the behaviour.

7.2.2. When a person believes that there is possible evidence of any of the behaviours provided for under section 5 above, he or she may file a complaint in writing or orally.

- Orally, the complaint must be filed with the Technical Office for Occupational Hazard Prevention. The officer from this unit will issue a record of the meeting, including the place and date, the name and surnames of the complainant, the allegations, the issuing authority, and the signatures of those present.

- In writing, the complaint, addressed to the Technical Office for Occupational Hazard Prevention, may be filed at any of the university's General Register offices. It may also be filed at those places listed in the applicable regulations of the common administrative procedure.

If the complaint is filed with any other authority or academic or administrative service or unit (Permanent Investigative Committee on Conflicts, Human Resources Area, centres, departments, etc.), it will be forwarded to the Technical Office for Occupational Hazard Prevention. In light of his or her independence, the UPF Ombudsperson will have the power to process the complaint at the aforementioned Office or by whatever other means he or she deems most appropriate.

The complaint must include, at least: the identity of the person or persons allegedly concerned and of the filer, if otherwise, including their name, surnames and ID document number (Spanish ID card (DNI), foreigner ID card (NIE), or passport); the identity of the alleged perpetrator or perpetrators of the behaviour, including their name, surnames and position; and a detailed description of the situation the allegedly concerned person or persons are experiencing and the specific actions of which they have been the recipient, as well as any evidence the parties concerned may have, where applicable; the date the written complaint was filed; and the filer's signature. The facts must be stated in list form with well-established dates and places, making the offensive content and the witness statements clear.

The Technical Office for Occupational Hazard Prevention will make a standardized form available to concerned parties, which will be posted on its website.

7.2.3. Within a maximum period of five working days from the time the complaint is filed with the Technical Office for Occupational Hazard Prevention, an officer specialized in applied psychosociology from the Office, accompanied by a prevention officer, will interview the person allegedly concerned.

The interview will be conducted in a suitable location to ensure the necessary confidentiality, preferably on university premises.

Depending on the nature of the reported facts, the aforementioned officers may request the assistance of an officer from the competent administrative unit (Organization and Procedures Unit, Administrative and Service Staff Service, Teaching and Research Staff Service, etc.).

Over the course of the interview, the reported information will be confirmed or expanded upon. To this end, where applicable, a self-administered survey may be used, as may other technical tools of proven effectiveness in the context of occupational hazard prevention. Additionally, the interviewed person or persons will be provided with the necessary advice and guidance.

Should the complaint be filed by a third party, the person allegedly concerned by the behaviour will have to ratify it for the Technical Office for Occupational Hazard Prevention to be able to admit and process it. Should he or she choose not to do so, and not withstanding any actions that this unit may undertake ex officio within the context of psychosocial risk prevention, the complaint will be archived. To this end, the head of the Technical Office for Occupational Hazard Prevention will propose the archiving of the complaint to the rector so that, based on the proposal, he or she may decide whether to proceed to its archiving. The rector must issue this decision within a period of ten working days, and it must be communicated to the complainant or complainants.

7.2.4. Upon conclusion of the interview, the officer who conducted it will inform the interviewed person or persons of the various possibilities going forward:

- If no clear evidence is found of any of the workplace bullying behaviours provided for in section 5 above, or if the reported behaviour does not fall within the scope of this protocol, the officer will inform the complainant of the complaint's lack of viability.

The interviewed person or persons may decide, at their own discretion, to go ahead with the complaint regardless. In that case, the officer will inform them of the possible consequences of such a decision for the rights of the parties concerned and of the potential liability should the complaint prove to be false.

- If evidence is found of a possible interpersonal work-related conflict, the officer will inform the interviewed person or persons of the possibl referral for treatment within the context of the protocol for analysing and designing responses to situations of emotional distress on the part of service and administrative staff and/or teaching and research staff, or referral for treatment within the context of the assessment of psychosocial risks, or referral of the matter to a mediator agreed to by both parties.

The third course of action seeks to achieve the joint resolution of the conflict with the alleged perpetrator or perpetrators by means of mediation, which both parties must agree to and which will be managed by a mediator who must also be agreed to by both parties. For the purposes of this protocol, mediation is understood to mean the application of a voluntary and confidential non-judicial procedure aimed at facilitating communication between the parties and overcoming the emotional component of the relationship in order to enable them to find their own solution for the conflicts in which they are involved. This is achieved with the assistance of a mediator who discharges his or her duties with impartiality and neutrality, ensuring the equality of the parties. The process makes it possible to reach creative and certain solutions, based on the mutual agreement of the parties. The different bodies and administrative units intervening in the application of this procedure will preferably assign the role of mediator to the UPF Ombudsperson, provided both parties so agree. 

- If the facts reveal evidence of workplace bullying as provided for in section 5 above, but the said behaviour is still in an early stage and could feasibly be corrected, the officer will inform of the possibility of referring the conflict to a mediator agreed to by both parties.  

- If possible evidence is found of workplace bullying as provided for in section 5 above but a preliminary investigation is required to better understand the specific circumstances of the case, the officer will inform the complainant of the possibility of the opening by the rector of a preliminary investigation, in order to verify the facts and, depending on the conclusions reached, decide on the actions to be taken.

- If sufficient evidence is found of potential disciplinary liability, the officer will inform of the possibility of the initiation by the rector of disciplinary proceedings, by virtue of his or her disciplinary authority.

7.2.5. Within a maximum period of five working days from the date of the interview, the officer specialized in ergonomics and applied psychosociology from the Technical Office for Occupational Hazard Prevention and the prevention officer will issue a preliminary technical assessment report on the nature and scope of the reported behaviours.

7.2.6. If, according to the technical report, the behaviour can be corrected through mediation, the head of the Technical Office for Occupational Hazard Prevention will contact the allegedly concerned person or persons. Only if the complainant agrees to this system will the head of the Office contact the person reported, for the sole purpose of informing both parties of the facts examined to date and of proposing mediation as a system for going forward with the processing of the complaint.

If the parties concerned freely agree to the proposed mediation, the head of the Technical Office for Occupational Hazard Prevention will submit the technical report to the Permanent Investigative Committee on Conflicts and notify it of the parties' agreement.

Should this recommendation be agreed to, within a maximum period of ten working days, the Permanent Investigative Committee on Conflicts will issue a resolution providing for the use of mediation as the means for settling the conflict and will appoint a mediator, offering such technical and administrative support as may be required for the proper discharge of his or her duties. The mediator will initiate those actions that he or she judges may help the two parties reach an agreed solution for the reported behaviours, in accordance with the criteria of dispatch, objectivity and impartiality.

Should the parties not agree to this alternative conflict resolution system, the possibility of referring the conflict for management in the context of psychosocial risk assessment or, where applicable, of initiating the relevant administrative proceedings will be studied.

7.2.7. If, according to the technical report, sufficient evidence is found to make it advisable to open a preliminary investigation or initiate disciplinary proceedings, the head of the Technical Office for Occupational Hazard Prevention will submit the technical report to the rector so that, based on the report, he or she may decide whether to open a preliminary investigation or initiate disciplinary proceedings.

The rector must issue this decision within a period of ten working days, and it must be communicated to the complainant or complainants and to the affected person or persons when the complaint is filed by a third party.

The decision to open a preliminary investigation or initiate disciplinary proceedings must, in all cases, also be communicated to the person or persons who were reported, who will be apprised of the facts for the first time at that moment and who may exercise the rights inherent to their status as parties to an administrative proceeding.

7.2.8. When applicable and advisable on grounds of urgency, in the decision to open a preliminary investigation or initiate proceedings, the rector may prescribe such corrective or protective precautionary measures regarding the parties concerned as he or she deems fit. These measures may also be adopted over the course of the investigation or proceedings. In all cases, the decision must be well-reasoned and must be communicated to all of the parties involved.

Any measures taken must make it possible to separate or prevent contact and/or academic and/or organizational dependency between the person or persons allegedly concerned and the alleged perpetrator or perpetrators, as well as enable support for the person or persons allegedly concerned.

The precautionary measures taken shall not at any time prejudice the final outcome of the proceedings.

No provisional measures may be taken that could cause harm that is difficult to remedy or irreparable to the interested parties or violate their rights.

The precautionary measures may be lifted or modified during the proceedings, in light of the emergence of new circumstances or of circumstances that were not taken into account at the time the measures were adopted.

At all times, these measures will be lifted as soon as the decision terminating the proceedings takes effect.

7.3. Second stage: conducting of the proceedings

7.3.1. Disciplinary proceedings

Should the rector decide to initiate disciplinary proceedings directly, the proceedings will be governed by the applicable current regulatory provisions on disciplinary matters. In that case, this protocol will cease to apply, with the exception of any necessary preventive measures, in accordance with current regulations governing the Technical Office for Occupational Hazard Prevention.

7.3.2. Preliminary investigation

7.3.2.1. Should the rector decide to open a period of preliminary investigation, the resolution opening the investigation will name the Permanent Investigative Committee on Conflicts as the authority responsible for conducting the investigation.

7.3.2.2. The Committee will meet within a maximum period of five working days from the time it is notified of the opening of the preliminary investigation and will appoint one of its members to conduct the actions required for the investigation, reporting to the Committee in the established terms. This person may seek the assistance of internal and/or external advisors.

7.3.2.3. Notwithstanding the rights of the interested parties to propose such actions as they may deem appropriate, the member appointed by the Committee to conduct the investigation will decide ex officio which investigative actions he or she feels are necessary to determine the circumstances of the specific case and will carry out the appropriate verifications and inquiries.

As an initial step, he or she will call in the person or persons allegedly concerned and the alleged perpetrator or perpetrators of the workplace bullying triggering the application of this protocol to give statements. He or she will call them in on different days and at different times and in a suitable location to ensure the necessary confidentiality so as to allow them to give their version of the reported events and provide any proof and/or evidence they may have to support it.

Once they have made their statements, he or she may decide to gather any other evidence he or she considers relevant, whether witness statements or documentary evidence, to check and clarify the events.

Likewise, he or she will proceed to seek any information that might make it possible to verify the evidence based on observable facts, and not opinions, that other concerned parties, witnesses or managers of the unit or units involved might be able to provide, in addition to that which the person or persons involved in the events might be able to provide at any time.

All civil servants from the UPF community are required to cooperate with the investigating body and to provide such information as may be requested during the preliminary investigation process.

7.3.2.4. By way of example, the investigative actions may include:

-The conducting of structured personal interviews to verify information on aspects related to task execution (definition of duties, effective discharge of duties, excess or shortage of tasks, employee awareness of duties, training or capacity of employees to perform duties) and to the conflict (possible verification of the existence of behaviours, other people's versions, explanations and assessments of the behaviours, victims of the behaviours, other current or previous conflicts).

The conducting of interviews with direct superiors, colleagues and subordinates of the person or persons allegedly concerned, the alleged perpetrator or perpetrators of the conduct, employees from other units or sections, and persons proposed by the interested parties.

The information thus obtained will be used in the final assessment of the case. To this end, at the start of each interview, the interviewee will be informed of the use to which the information provided may be put.

-Where necessary, different external experts may participate in the process. These experts may include an external psychologist, an occupational hazard prevention officer, specialist in applied psychology, or any other specialist in the nature or scope of the reported behaviour, or who will determine the origin of the conflict and will assess the potential psychological effects. To this end, he or she will confirm the information obtained from the person or persons allegedly concerned by means of a structured interview and any other instruments the specialist might consider necessary.

-Where deemed necessary, the allegedly concerned person or persons may also be referred to the health service with which UPF has an agreement for the monitoring of employee health. The occupational medicine specialist will evaluate, through a health examination, any related psychosomatic disorders.

The external experts will prepare confidential overview reports, which they will submit to the investigating body for safekeeping.

7.3.2.5. The Permanent Investigative Committee on Conflicts will promote the preliminary investigation stage to ensure that it is conducted as fast as possible, in keeping with the specific characteristics of the facts.

7.3.2.6. Once the records of the preliminary investigation have been concluded, the Committee will submit a report on its conclusions to the rector, containing, at least, the following points:

- A list of the names of the Committee members issuing the report and the identity of the person who conducted the proceedings and of the parties involved.

- Background: complaint, where applicable, and attendant circumstances.

- Record of the preliminary investigation: witness statements, evidence and reports obtained in the framework of the preliminary investigation.

- Conclusions and proposed measures, where applicable.

7.4. Third stage: resolution of the proceedings

7.4.1. In consideration of the report on the conclusions of the Permanent Investigative Committee on Conflicts, the rector will issue a well-reasoned decision.

7.4.2. The maximum period for reaching and communicating the decision regarding the preliminary investigation may not be more than two months from the date on which the investigation was opened.

7.4.3. The decision must necessarily be one of the following:

- Closing of the investigation, due to a lack of sufficient evidence to prove the existence of the behaviour or when the complaint is manifestly false.

- Mediation between the parties involved to resolve the conflict, provided the behaviour does not constitute a crime or misdemeanour and that both of the parties involved have so agreed..

-Initiation of disciplinary proceedings, when evidence is found of the existence of inappropriate behaviour subject to disciplinary sanction.

In order to prevent unnecessary duplications and to strengthen the notion of dispatch as a guiding principle, the actions conducted previously as part of the preliminary investigation will be included in the disciplinary proceedings for consideration by the person conducting them within the framework of said proceedings. This person may perform the necessary verifications to accredit the circumstances highlighted in the preliminary investigation, verifying, where appropriate, the content of the undertaken actions and proceeding to their definitive inclusion in the disciplinary proceedings. Should it be deemed necessary to repeat any of the actions, well-reasoned grounds for this decision must be provided.

If facts or actions are determined to exist that could constitute a crime or misdemeanour, the case will be forwarded to the Spanish Public Prosecutor's Office.

8. Monitoring and control of developments in the case

8.1. The Technical Office for Occupational Hazard Prevention will monitor the developments in the case from the filing of the initial complaint to the final resolution and will provide, where necessary, personalized support and rehabilitation for the parties concerned.

It will likewise try to prevent potentially hostile situations in the workplace environment, especially in cases of a return to work following a leave related to these circumstances.

8.2. The Permanent Investigative Committee on Conflicts will monitor developments in the case once the proceedings have been concluded and, to this end, will verify the absence of the behaviour that provided the grounds for opening the preliminary investigation or initiating the disciplinary proceedings and, where applicable, will evaluate the suitability of the adopted measures. It will interview the parties involved in the events every three month, calculated from the date of the resolution of the rector that terminated the proceedings, for at least one year, and it will issue a report on its conclusions, which it will submit to the Occupational Health and Safety Committee.

8.3. The Permanent Investigative Committee on Conflicts will annually review all the preliminary investigations opened and disciplinary proceedings initiated as a result of the behaviours covered under this protocol with a view to properly monitoring them and, if necessary, will propose the adoption of the appropriate preventive and corrective measures.