House of Commons harassment: Leadsom must pause introduction of “flawed” new policy, FDA warns
The House of Commons Committee on Standards has released its report on the new proposals for a bullying and harassment policy in Parliament.
Commenting on the recommendation that would see MPs debate in the House the most serious sanctions handed to MPs accused of bullying and harassment, FDA Assistant General Secretary Amy Leversidge said:
“In no other environment would an employee's complaint of bullying or indeed sexual harassment be subject to the scrutiny and debate of 650 individuals. Even if not named, there is every chance that circumstances published around the complaint could lead to an individual being identified.
“There is currently no impediment, other than the pleading of the Speaker, to avoid any MP in this position from naming the individual who complained. How can this build confidence for an individual to raise the most serious allegations against an MP, knowing that this very person has the power to name them in public? This is in itself bullying and intimidating behaviour.
“At the point in the proposed process when an MP is to be sanctioned for their behaviour, there is nothing to stop that MP using their parliamentary privilege to undermine the judgement of the independent investigator and plead their case directly to MPs in the House. We are back to the fundamental problem - MPs cannot be trusted to mark their own homework.
“The FDA is urging Andrea Leadsom to pause the introduction of the new policy so these fundamental details can be worked out. It is unfair to the first users of the policy to force them to navigate their way through this flawed procedure. As we have seen with the failed Respect Policy - a flawed policy quickly becomes an unusable one.”
Notes for editors
The FDA is the union for senior managers and professionals in public service, representing more than 18,000 members at grades HEO and above. Membership includes senior civil servants, government policy advisors, prosecutors, diplomats, tax professionals, economists, solicitors and other professionals working across the Government and the NHS.
The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".
For more information contact FDA Communications Officer Tommy Newell on 020 7401 5588 or 07738 729 145.
Latest News from
The FDA calls for a meaningful pay rise as Crown prosecutors face 20% real terms pay cut15/10/2018 12:25:00
The FDA demands the Government fund a pay rise for Crown prosecutors in light of the recommendation on judges’ pay by the Senior Salaries Review Body.
Ensure COPFS budget increase isn’t simply a “flash in the pan”, FDA urges Justice Secretary03/10/2018 10:25:00
The Scottish Government recently announced proposals to allocate the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) an additional in-year budget of £3.6 million to fund the recruitment of up to 140 permanent staff.
FDA: Senior Civil Service pay systems creak at the seams while Government works at a snail’s pace14/09/2018 13:10:00
FDA Assistant General Secretary Lucille Thirlby yesterday commented on the Government’s response to the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) recommendations for Senior Civil Service (SCS) pay.
Civil service pay: Court agrees to give legal challenge urgent consideration22/08/2018 14:25:00
The High Court yesterday agreed to expedite the FDA’s application for Judicial Review over civil service pay.
Civil service unions jointly issue legal proceedings over pay09/08/2018 12:10:00
The FDA, Prospect and PC – unions representing more than 200,000 civil servants – yesterday jointly launched legal proceedings, seeking Judicial Review of the Government’s consultation over the 2018 civil service pay guidance.
The House of Commons is once again letting down victims of harassment, says FDA19/07/2018 14:10:00
Andrea Leadsom’s steering group on the new Independent Complaints and Grievance Procedure has now published its report and will ask MPs to vote to introduce the new policy on Thursday 19 July.
Withdraw civil service pay guidance or face legal action, FDA warns18/07/2018 16:10:00
The FDA yesterday, alongside PCS and Prospect, instructed our lawyers to write to the Minister for the Cabinet Office David Lidington to request that the Government withdraws the civil service pay guidance and undertakes a process of appropriate consultation.
Chancellor “refusing to face up to reality” over civil service pay, says FDA26/06/2018 12:43:00
FDA Assistant General Secretary Lucille Thirlby, yesterday responded to the release of the civil service pay guidance.