News

Review of procedure for handling harassment complaints published

Published: 16 Mar 2021 16:00
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Public sector

Government welcomes lessons.

An externally led review of the procedure for handling harassment complaints about current or former Ministers has been published today.

Laura Dunlop QC was commissioned by the Scottish Government to conduct a review, following the concession of the judicial review brought by Alex Salmond on the handling of harassment complaints made against him.

The review makes a number of recommendations to strengthen the process for handling such complaints in the future, which will be considered along with the forthcoming report from the Committee on the Scottish Government’s Handling of Harassment Complaints and James Hamilton’s report.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“The Scottish Government welcomes this independent review and the constructive, forward-looking recommendations that Laura Dunlop QC has made. We will now work with the Scottish Government Council of Unions, on how these could be implemented, noting that in some instances it will require us working across institutions to find a way forward.

“Our shared priority is to have in place policies and procedures that allow any future complaints to be raised and investigated with confidence. I would reiterate the Scottish Government’s apology to the women who had the courage to make the harassment complaints – they were let down, and it is only right to ensure that lessons are learned for the future.

“Bullying or harassment of any kind is unacceptable and we want staff to feel safe and supported in raising concerns. We will finalise an implementation plan by June which draws on the lessons highlighted by this review, as well as the forthcoming report from SGHHC Committee.

“I am grateful for the attention Laura Dunlop has given to these important matters.”

Laura Dunlop QC’s review is published here