Sexual harassment reforms at Westminster  'Boys club' 

Politicians in Westminster will have to undergo training and could be expelled for sexual harassment. The first-ever grievance procedure, which aims to reform workplace culture that has seen sexual misconduct from groping to rape, has been launched.

Lydia Morrish
Lydia Morrish NewsMavens, United Kingdom
Sexual harassment reforms at Westminster  'Boys club'  - NewsMavens
House of Commons, United Kingdom. Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

Against the backdrop of accusation of sexual assault in Hollywood, finance, theatre and beyond, allegations of sexual misconduct have rocked British politics since November.

This is the first time ever that a complaints procedure will be in place for parliament workers, who don't have the safety net of a HR department or even an official employer -- Members of Parliament are not employed in any legal sense of the word, and their staff are employed by the MP.

Now, victims of sexual misconduct will have a place to go, opening up the possibility for a culture shift in UK politics, which has often been referred to as a "boy's club".

Whether the new policies will be carried out effectively, is unsure. But I, along with many concerned political minds, will be watching closely. This is a huge opportunity for change at a moment when sexual equality has never been more critical.

politics, women's issues, violence

Details from the story:

  • Following the denouncing of multiple politicians and the launch of a committee to stop Westminster harassment, MPs faced a reckoning as inappropriate behaviour stopped being hidden and tolerated.
  • A cross-party committee of British MPs are due to launch a new complaints procedure that will allow victims of sexual harassment at Westminster to be able to officially report sexual misconduct.
  • A new code of conduct will be published and a trained sexual violence adviser will be available to victims and those concerned about workplace harassment in Westminster.
  • Staff found to have harassed other parliament workers will have to write a letter of apology and undergo training.
  • In serious cases they could face suspension or deselection.
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