Sexual harassment and bullying claims

FOI request reference: CAS-70099-H0B4C3 & CAS-70100-X5D1P3
Publication date: September 2021

Requests

1. How many civil servants have made complaints that they have been sexually harassed by another civil servant/staff member in the last three calendar years (up to and including August 2021)? To be clear, I’m asking for information for 2019, 2020 and 2021. Please could you break this information down by year and gender.

2. How many civil servants/staff have faced civil service disciplinary investigations as a result of a sexual harassment claim made against them by a civil servant in the last three calendar years (up to and including August 2021)? Please could you break this information down by year, gender. In each case, please could you state whether any misconduct was found and, if so, what type of disciplinary action was taken including verbal/written/final warnings, suspension, dismissal etc.

3. Please could you state in any of the cases above whether the police was notified of the staff member’s sexual harassment complaint/if any investigation/charges were brought. Please could you break this information down by year.

4. How many civil servants have made complaints that they have been bullied by another civil servant/staff member in the last three calendar years (up to and including August 2021). To be clear, I’m asking for information for 2019, 2020 and 2021. Please could you break this information down by year and gender.

5. How many civil servants/staff have faced civil service disciplinary investigations as a result of an accusation of bullying made against them by a civil servant in the last three calendar years (up to and including August 2021). Please could you break this information down by year, gender. In each case, please could you state whether any misconduct was found and, if so, what type of disciplinary action was taken including verbal/written/final warnings, suspension, dismissal etc.

Outcome

Some information provided.

Response

I can confirm that The National Archives holds information relevant to your request and we are pleased to be able to provide this information to you.

Your requests & our response:

1. How many civil servants have made complaints that they have been sexually harassed by another civil servant/staff member in the last three calendar years (up to and including August 2021)? To be clear, I’m asking for information for 2019, 2020 and 2021. Please could you break this information down by year and gender.

This information is exempt under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act. Please see the explanatory annexe at the end of this email for more information concerning this exemption. We can, however, confirm that fewer than five complaints of sexual harassment were made during 2019-2021.

2. How many civil servants/staff have faced civil service disciplinary investigations as a result of a sexual harassment claim made against them by a civil servant in the last three calendar years (up to and including August 2021)? Please could you break this information down by year, gender. In each case, please could you state whether any misconduct was found and, if so, what type of disciplinary action was taken including verbal/written/final warnings, suspension, dismissal etc.

This information is exempt under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act. Please see the explanatory annexe at the end of this email for more information concerning this exemption. We can, however, confirm that fewer than five members of staff faced disciplinary investigations during 2019-2021.

3. Please could you state in any of the cases above whether the police was notified of the staff member’s sexual harassment complaint/if any investigation/charges were brought. Please could you break this information down by year.

The incident or incidents referred to above did not lead to the police being notified.

4. How many civil servants have made complaints that they have been bullied by another civil servant/staff member in the last three calendar years (up to and including August 2021). To be clear, I’m asking for information for 2019, 2020 and 2021. Please could you break this information down by year and gender.

No complaints have been made.

5. How many civil servants/staff have faced civil service disciplinary investigations as a result of an accusation of bullying made against them by a civil servant in the last three calendar years (up to and including August 2021). Please could you break this information down by year, gender. In each case, please could you state whether any misconduct was found and, if so, what type of disciplinary action was taken including verbal/written/final warnings, suspension, dismissal etc.

No disciplinary investigations have been conducted.

Explanatory annexe:

Section 40(2): Personal Information where the applicant is not the data subject

Section 40 exempts personal information about a ‘third party’ (someone other than the requester), if revealing it would breach the terms of Data Protection Legislation. Data Protection Legislation prevents personal information from release if it would be unfair or at odds with the reason why it was collected, or where the subject had officially served notice that releasing it would cause them damage or distress. Personal information must be processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner as set out by Art. 5 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In this case the exemption applies because the requested material contains the personal and the sensitive personal information of a number of identified individuals assumed still to be living. These individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy which would not include the release of this information into the public domain by The National Archives during their lifetime. To do so would be likely to cause damage and/or distress and would be a breach of the first data protection principle, which is concerned with the fair, lawful and transparent processing of information of this kind.

Further guidance on the application of this exemption cab be found here:
https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/2619056/s40-personal-information-section-40-regulation-13.pdf