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Independent Complaints and Grievance Policy

Published Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The House will debate the Independent Complaints and Grievance Policy Programme Team’s Delivery Report on 19 July. This briefing note reviews the report and the background to it.

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Independent Complaints and Grievance Policy: Delivery Report

On 17 July 2018, the Independent Complaints and Grievance Policy (IGCP) Programme Team’s Delivery Report was published. It set out how the Programme Team, overseen by a steering group, has taken forward the House’s decision of 28 February 2018 to implement recommendations to develop a parliament-wide behaviour code and independent complaints and grievance schemes to respond to and manage complaints of (i) sexual harassment and (ii) bullying and harassment.

The Delivery Report includes a proposed Behaviour Code; procedures for reporting and investigating allegations of bullying and harassment; procedures for reporting and investigating allegations of sexual harassment; and a system of training to support the Behaviour Code. The Delivery Report sets out steps that have been taken to ensure that a human resources support service is available for staff of MPs. It sets out the role of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and the Standards Committee in investigating complaints about Members of Parliament. Before the Delivery Report was published the Steering Group had asked the Committee on Standards for comments – the Committee’s comments are taken into account. The Delivery Report confirms that “The Steering Group has agreed that the new Scheme can investigate incidents that occurred from the start of this Parliament (June 2017)”. However, the Delivery Report also notes that “The Steering Group are determined that the new Scheme is not a ‘day zero’ approach that ignores the problems of the past”. The Delivery Report has “set out the options available to complainants to pursue a route that offers the best chance to deliver what they need to find resolution” – these note that some pre-2017 complaints may be taken into account if they constitute “continuing acts”. Complainants bringing forward older cases that are not continuing “will be able to talk through the details with an independent adviser and be pointed in the direction of where they can get support and counselling services”. Any decision on investigation would be based on the policy or code in place at the time.

The Delivery Report sets out the scope of reviews, recommended by the Working Group, that should take place six and 18 months after the Scheme’s introduction.

In a message to House of Commons staff, following the publication of the Delivery Report, the Clerk of the House stated that if the report is agreed to by the House, the Policy will be applied to House staff:

  • Last night the House of Commons Commission agreed, in consultation with the TUS, that the new policies and procedures will apply to staff of the House Service and the Parliamentary Digital Service, should they be adopted by the House.

The Leader of the House announced that there would be a debate on a motion on the independent complaints and grievance policy on 19 July 2018.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-8369

Author: Richard Kelly

Topics: Members of Parliament, Parliament

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