Employment: Bullying

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 23rd March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to undertake a public consultation on bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct at work.

Photo of Lord Callanan Lord Callanan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Any form of bullying and harassment is unacceptable and has no place in today’s workplace. Current legislation already provides robust safeguards for employees against harassment in the workplace.

Whilst it is important to have a safety net of legislation to protect employees from the worst form of abuses, the best way to address bad behaviour is through cultural change within the workplace. Employers can, for example, establish good practices through a clear anti-harassment policy and ensure all staff receive training in this area. There are currently no plans to undertake a further public consultation

The Government has however identified a need to take further action where employers are using non-disclosure agreements to intimidate victims of harassment into silence. It consulted on the misuse of confidentiality clauses between workers and their employers in 2019. In response to our consultation, we announced a package of measures, including that we will legislate so that no provision in a workplace non-disclosure agreement can prevent disclosures to the police, regulated health and care professionals and legal professionals.

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