The Scottish Parliament commissioned a confidential survey of all those who work in Holyrood and constituency and regional offices to assess the extent to which sexual harassment and sexist behaviour is prevalent.
Progressive, the independent company which undertook the survey on our behalf, has now provided an analysis of the responses and a copy of its report can be found below.
Sexual Harassment and Sexist Behaviour Survey - Report (1MB pdf)
A Joint Working Group set up to take forward any actions as a result of the survey has been considering the report's findings and has identified the key strands of work (19KB pdf) it will take forward.
If you have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment at the Parliament and need any support and advice you can contact our confidential helpline on 0800 756 9969. The line is open 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. Out of hours the service can be contacted at email@example.com.
The Joint Working Group has three representatives from the SPS – an Assistant Chief Executive, the Culture and Respect Team Leader, and the Head of Committee and Outreach.
We have, and continue to, provide a number of opportunities for SPCB staff to engage with the programme and input their views via Focus Groups, discussion and feedback at team meetings, input from TUS, individual feedback, and engagement with Diversity Networks.
The Dignity at Work Policy exists and is available on the Parliament’s website. It provides a clear definition of what is harassment and bullying, how complaints can be dealt with in an informal and formal basis and what are the reporting procedures. The policy is to be reviewed along with other HR policies and procedures this year. There is specific guidance associated with the policy for staff and for managers.
There are other complaints procedures for staff and members’ staff. The Code of Conduct is currently being reviewed by the Standards and Parliamentary Procedures Committee.
The Joint Working Group have outlined the key strands of work they will take forward over the coming months. Focus Groups will be running in May giving those who work here the opportunity to give their views on the barriers to reporting sexual harassment, and the support we provide to those to give those who have experienced it.
You can attend one the focus groups – these will take place in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen.
The programme was set up in response to the findings of the sexual harassment and sexist behaviour survey which told us that 1 in 5 respondents overall and 1 in 3 female respondents said they had experienced sexual harassment or behaviour. Sexual harassment and sexist behaviour is therefore the main priority for the programme but given that this sits within the wider context of harassment and bullying, we will be reviewing our approach across all of these areas including the relevant policies and processes.
It’s too early to say what will be included in the training although we know from what the survey told us that we would like to include reporting issues, the definitions of harassment, sexual harassment and bullying and the importance of the role of a bystander in challenging behaviours. We would also like to consider the role of unconscious bias on individual behaviours and the impact it has on our ability to know what’s acceptable or unacceptable.
We still need to gather feedback from the focus groups before we can finalise on the training. Once we have completed the analysis we will let you know when the training will go ahead. We expect this to be sometime after the summer recess.
The Joint Working Group has agreed to develop ways in which to monitor and review progress and to ensure that a change in culture is happening as a result of the work that is being done. At this stage we don’t know if this will be in the form of a survey or something similar but there will be a review after the programme has ended.
There is currently guidance available for SPCB managers which will be reviewed as part of this programme to take account of all managers working in the Parliament.
The survey results told us that the majority of harassment and sexist behaviours experienced were from other staff or members. However, as part of the overall review of our approach, we will also consider the policies we have in place in relation to our interaction with members of the public.