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Sexual Harassment

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many complaints of (a) sexual harassment and (b) sexual discrimination have been made by staff in (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies in the most recent year for which figures are available. (184687)

Statistics for complaints made by MOD civil servants prior to April 2007 are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Complaints of harassment are raised through the MOD’s harassment complaints procedures. Complaints of discrimination are raised using the Department's grievance procedures. The figures for formal complaints of sexual harassment and sexual discrimination raised from April 2007 onwards are as follows:

Table 1: Number of sexual harassment and sexual discrimination complaints in the MOD civil service (April 2007-January 2008)

Number

Sexual harassment

1

Sexual discrimination

2

The following table summarises the figures for sexual harassment and discrimination complaints in the armed forces for the most recent available year from 1 October 2006 to 30 September 2007. These figures are for formal complaints only where the complaint has been made through the service complaints procedures.

Table 2: Number of sexual harassment and discrimination complaints in the Armed Forces (October 2006-September 2007)

IRN

Army

RAF

Total

Sexual harassment

11

11

10

32

Sexual discrimination

2

5

1

8

Harassment and discrimination are not tolerated within the Ministry of Defence or the armed forces. Revised harassment complaints procedures were published in January 2007. All Service personnel have the right to raise a complaint if they feel they have been treated unfairly whilst in service. This is part of their statutory right of complaint under single-Service redress procedures.