Charities: Bullying and Harassment

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 14th June 2018.

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Photo of Andrew Bridgen Andrew Bridgen Conservative, North West Leicestershire

To ask the Minister for the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what safeguards are in place to protect volunteers employed in the charity sector from workplace bullying and harassment.

Photo of Tracey Crouch Tracey Crouch The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Government expects charities to take robust action against any bullying and harassment relating to employees or volunteers.

Charity employees have some protection in law under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 from detrimental treatment or victimisation from their employer if, in the public interest, they report concerns about serious wrongdoing at their charity to the Charity Commission, provided that the concerns they report meet the conditions in the Act for a ’protected disclosure’. There are other mechanisms for volunteers to report such concerns to the Charity Commission, although they are not covered by the Act.

Government, regulators and the charity sector are working together to reaffirm the importance of safeguarding as a governance priority for charities, and to agree and commit to actions jointly and individually to strengthen the safeguarding capability and capacity of charities working across the UK. The Charity Commission has already announced a suite of measures to help ensure charities learn the wider lessons from recent safeguarding cases revelations involving Oxfam and other charities, and to strengthen protection from harm for charity beneficiaries, employees and volunteers. This includes a review of its whistleblowing processes and guidance.

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