Working Group on Independent Complaints and Grievance Policy - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:51 pm on 8th February 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal 2:51 pm, 8th February 2018

On the noble Baroness’s second point, about inappropriate behaviour, she is absolutely right, which is why we are procuring external experts, one with specific expertise in sexual violence and sexual harassment and another to look more at bullying and harassment. They will have the expertise and knowledge to help those who wish to complain work out what they want to do and to give them support and guidance. That is part of why we are going externally to deliver these services: to make sure we have experts who can help victims and complainants navigate the process.

On vexatious claims, the noble Baroness is absolutely right: it was a concern raised within the working group and by various people who gave evidence. Obviously, confidentiality throughout the process will be key. As the Statement made clear, we will also make sure that both victims and alleged perpetrators have access to the information available and to support, advice and representation if they need it. That way, we can make sure that everyone is able to put their case forward and that both parties can respect whatever decision is ultimately made and deal with its outcome, be it the perpetrator having a sanction imposed or the victim feeling that they have had their case properly heard.