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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-08229

  • Asked by: Emma Roddick, MSP for Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party
  • Date lodged: 27 April 2022
  • Current status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 10 May 2022


To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to ensure that sexual harassment is treated as a health and safety concern.


The Scottish Government is clear that there is no place for harassment or abuse in any form in the workplace and that everyone has the right to go to work without fear of intimidation. All employers have a duty of care to protect the health, safety and welfare of their workers.

Health and Safety legislation, as well as Equality Law and Employment Law, is reserved to the UK Parliament. Only with the devolution of further powers will the Scottish Government have the full set of levers to take real action on workplace injustices.

Not with-standing that we recognise the important role Scottish Government has in promoting Fair Work policy and actions to make workplaces fairer and more inclusive. We encourage all employers to have in place robust workplace policies for handling issues such as bullying or harassment.

As part of our Equally Safe strategy, we are providing over £330,000 in funding to Close the Gap to develop “Equally Safe at Work”, the first accreditation programme to focus on gender equality at work. This funding will allow for the expansion of Equally Safe at Work into additional local councils.

The programme is also being piloted in the NHS, third sector organisations and the Scottish Government. The programme address themes such as leadership, data and workplace culture and supports organisations to improve employment practice, advance gender equality and prevent violence against women.