Code of Conduct for MSPs - treatment of others


Consultation on Code of Conduct changes to give effect to the recommendations of the Joint Working Group on Sexual Harassment and Sexist Behaviour


  1. The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) set up a Joint Working Group (JWG), comprising senior Parliament officials, representatives from each political party and an external expert to look at how the Parliament should address sexist behaviour and sexual harassment. This was set up as part of a series of measures to deal with harassment.  A survey of everyone who works in and for the Parliament was also carried out and found that 20% of those responding had experienced such behaviour while working at the Parliament. (30% of women and 6% of men reported experiencing this behaviour in some form.)
  2. The report of the JWG was referred to the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee by the SPCB in January 2019. Since then, the Committee has considered its recommendations and has consulted on and made changes to the Code of Conduct for MSPs to give effect to them.
  3. During the course of this work, the Committee discussed whether the standard in Section 7 of the Code should be further extended to introduce a new standard for the treatment of individuals who MSPs come into contact with while performing their role as parliamentarians but agreed to revert to this matter at a later date. Behaviour by MSPs towards these individuals was not previously covered in the Code. Other Legislatures’ Codes address conduct towards such individuals and the Committee believe that including them would be an important step in upholding the highest standards of conduct among MSPs.
  4. The Committee has now reached a conclusion on a proposal to amend Section 7 of the Code to broaden the individuals covered by the Code and would like you views on the consultation attached below.

Read the committee's consultation document here

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