[2018] ** Motion 24 Bullying and harassment

carried motion
Carried motion

Received from:

Congress applauds the brave men and women who, through publicising their own experience, have brought attention to the widespread culture of bullying and harassment that exists in employment.

The abuse of power that drives this behaviour takes many forms. In the public sector there is a unique dynamic where those who may seek to exploit that power are elected politicians, separate to the employment structure.

It has been evidenced through the exposure of systematic bullying and harassment in parliament, where there is little or no scrutiny, or where political expediency overrides the interest in protecting individuals, that employees are left with little or no effective way to challenge behaviours. In the civil service, whilst there are long established processes handling complaints, this does not include ministers.

Workers, wherever they are employed, can expect to do so free from bullying and harassment. Employers have a responsibility to ensure that there is an effective process to investigate complaints and to apply remedies and sanctions if appropriate. The public sector should be the exemplar for this issue, even where this challenges the power of elected politicians, political parties or government.

Congress therefore calls upon all public bodies, including the civil service, parliament and local authorities to:

i. ensure there is a transparent process for reporting harassment and bullying, whether committed by another public servant, contractor, politician or other
externally employed person
ii. ensure visible independence in the process of investigation and decision-making appropriate to the nature of the complaint.



  • Add new final sub-paragraph iii.:
    “iii. learn from the good work undertaken in the NHS by unions and employers that led to the initiative called Creating Positive Workplace Cultures and Tackling Bullying in the NHS – a Collective Call to Action.”

The College of Podiatry