Review into bullying and harassment of staff within the Parliamentary workplace

The Public Service Association (PSA) has commended today’s announcement that an independent external review into bullying and harassment of staff within the Parliamentary workplace is set to commence.

"We commend the Speaker of the House, Trevor Mallard, for sponsoring this review in order to apply rigorous scrutiny to ensuring Parliamentary staff are respected, safe and supported in their workplace," said Glenn Barclay, PSA national secretary.

"We also commend the collaboration of the three agencies that PSA members work in - the Parliamentary Service, Ministerial & Secretariat Services/ DIA and the Office of the Clerk - to ensure the review recognises Parliament as a ‘single workplace’. This is a high pressure environment and one that should reinforce dignity and respect for the rights of staff within an open and supportive culture that all workers deserve.

"It is important that consideration of how Parliament as a workplace meets that basic standard is within the scope of the review, and that scrutiny will be given to the degree to which behaviours of bullying and harassment - including sexual harassment - have occurred and been handled at Parliament.

"Of all workplaces we believe Parliament should be aspiring to be an exemplar - as close to best practice and the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 as possible," said Glenn Barclay.

"We note that while it isn’t the objective of the review to ‘reopen’ complaints dating back to October 2014, the fact that the effectiveness of how complaints were handled is under review is likely to put members of staff, including contractors, under a large amount of associated stress and strain.

"The PSA will be supporting its members throughout this five month long process. Special care must be taken at all times to allow input to the review to be free, frank and fearless and for 100% confidentiality".