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Departments: Racial Harassment

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many complaints of racial abuse relating to staff for which his Department is responsible have been (a) investigated and (b) upheld in the last 12 months. (149250)

No complaints of racial abuse were investigated in the Department in the last 12 months. Formal complaints of racial abuse would be investigated quickly and thoroughly and, where complaints were upheld, appropriate disciplinary action would be taken. All cases are treated seriously.

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. 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.