There has been a great deal of media coverage about harassment in the workplace involving MPs and MP staff. Harassment and bullying of any kind is totally unacceptable and should not be tolerated and every organisation needs to have procedures in place to counter it, including reporting processes and support for those involved.
Although the House Service provides support to MPs and staff, MPs are classed as being self-employed and act as the legal employer of their staff – researchers, casework officers and office managers and so on. The House Service is therefore limited in its ability to intervene in employment matters, such as allegations of bullying or harassment by MPs of their staff.
There is a written policy, the Respect policy, which explains what is expected of relationships between Members and their staff. It specifically covers:
- definitions of what may constitute bullying and harassment should this arise;
- the procedures to be followed should you feel you have been bullied or harassed by a Member or their staff;
- further information on where to go for help and advice.
The policy sets out a fair and robust process for dealing with complaints about Members of Parliament’s behaviour towards staff of the House.
It can be read in full on the Parliamentary Intranet: