Independent Complaints and Grievance Policy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:06 pm on 16th November 2017.

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Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 12:06 pm, 16th November 2017

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman and his party for their offer to co-operate, very sincerely, in resolving this issue. As I said earlier, all parties have agreed that this is something we must deal with urgently and in a collegiate and non-partisan way. I am extremely grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his reassurance in that regard. He is absolutely right to say that the independence of the new grievances and complaints procedure must be assured, and must have the full confidence of everyone who will be using it. We will ensure that, in due course, we can confirm very clearly to all staff—to all who work on the parliamentary estate and, indeed, those who work in our constituency offices—exactly what options are open to them.

Let me reiterate that we currently have the helpline, which is now available to all staff in both Houses—along with face-to-face counselling sessions if required—but that has a limited capability. The grievance procedure that we seek to establish will have a far greater capability when it comes to action to deal with particular grievances and complaints. There will, of course, always be the individual party process as well. There will be three different sources enabling people to express grievances or complaints. Only two of them, the helpline and the party processes, are currently in place, and it is the third—the independent cross-House, cross-party grievance process that we intend to establish—that will, I think, provide the full cultural change that we seek.