The ICGS review will help maintain courtesy and mutual respect for all who work in Parliament
| House of Lords/Roger Harris
Alison Stanley's review demonstrates our progress, as well as areas for improvement in handling bullying and harassment complaints
Bullying and harassment are completely unacceptable in any workplace. But for too long those who experienced such behaviour in Parliament did not have confidence that their concerns would be heard and such behaviour addressed. The introduction of the Independent Complaints and Grievances Scheme (ICGS) and the Behaviour Code represented a significant change in addressing that gap.
The ICGS has now been in place for two years. This week sees the publication of an important review by Alison Stanley into the way in which the scheme has been working. The review is a thorough and helpful analysis of the progress we have made and the areas to improve. I am grateful to Alison and her team for their work in bringing it forward. It makes clear and welcome recommendations to speed up the time it takes to consider cases, promote the confidence of complainants and respondents about the operation of the scheme, to ensure clear communication about the ICGS, and to streamline decision-making.
The review should be set in the context of the progress we have all made in recognising and dealing with bullying and harassment. To give one example, the House has agreed that “Valuing Everyone” training should be mandatory for Members. This course aims to help everyone recognise poor behaviour and provide tools to address it. At the start of February, three-quarters of Members of the House had attended or booked a place.
A great strength of the House is courtesy and mutual respect for all who work here. It is something which we all rightly cherish. But where behaviour falls short of the standards we should all expect, it is really important that we address it. This review will further help us to do that.
Ed Ollard is Clerk of the Parliaments