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Sexual Harassment

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice 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. (184689)

In the period January 2007 to December 2007 the following number of formal complaints on the grounds of sexual discrimination were received:

Ex-Department of Constitutional Affairs—4

National Offender Management Service—0

Office of Criminal Justice Reform—0

Total—4

In the ex-DCA complaints on the grounds of sexual harassment are recorded with other types of complaint under the general heading of “conduct”. The system for logging complaints does not provide a separate category for sexual harassment, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The public sector Prison Service does not have systems in place that hold centrally validated information in respect of complaints of sexual harassment or discrimination and it could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The Service recognises that sexual harassment is a serious issue and has agreed a series of actions to identify and address sexual harassment. One of the primary actions required under the agreement with EHRC is to review all complaints which have occurred in establishments from 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2006. This information is currently the subject to quality controls and validation.