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Local Authority Employees

Volume 401: debated on Tuesday 18 March 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what statutory remedies are available to local authority staff who are victims of workplace bullying; [103536](2) what statutory remedies there are to deal with unreasonable behaviour by local authority senior management against council employees. [103537]

The main acts of parliament that are in place to deal with unreasonable behaviour or workplace bulling are as follows:

  • Protection from Harassment Act 1997
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994
  • Race Relations Act 1976
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what advice the Government have received from the Health and Safety Commission on options for action to make a significant impact on preventing assaults, verbal threats and abuse in the workplace for employees of local authorities. [103538]

The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) is committed to tackling the problem of work-related violence. In March 2000 the HSC agreed a three-ear programme to help employers tackle the problem of work-related violence. The programme builds on current and past initiatives and includes proposals for awareness raising, guidance and new research. It is particularly targeted at sectors that are most at risk of violence.HSE has published general guidance for employers to help them tackle work-related violence, and sector-specific guidance covering health services and education.

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he will publish proposals under Section 3 of the Local Government Act 2000 for a code of conduct to protect employees of local authorities; and if he will make a statement. [103539]

Part III of the Local Government Act 2000 provides for the Secretary of State to issue model codes of conduct as regards the members (section 50) and employees (section 82) of local authorities. Codes of conduct under section 50 were laid before Parliament in November 2002. These codes place obligations on members to treat others with respect and not to do anything which compromises the impartiality of those who work for the local authority.