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Departments: Sexual Harassment

Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 19 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many complaints of sexual harassment have been investigated in his Department in the last 12 months; and how many complaints have been upheld. (135370)

No complaints of sexual harassment were investigated in my Department in the last 12 months.

The Department believes that each and every individual has the right to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect. As such, we do not tolerate unacceptable behaviour towards others. Formal complaints of sexual harassment would be investigated quickly and thoroughly and, where complaints were upheld, appropriate disciplinary action would be taken. All cases are treated seriously.

The overall aim of our harassment and bullying policy is to prevent such unacceptable behaviour occurring but, where it does occur, to ensure that appropriate and effective action is taken to deal with it and prevent it happening again. This applies to everyone in the Department. Every individual is personally responsible for their own behaviour, and every manager is responsible for enforcing the policy in accordance with the guidance and procedures set out in our Staff Handbook.