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Met Police to change workplace bullying procedures [theWarf, by Richard Beecham, 03/12/2015]

Survey among the police force’s staff show a lack of confidence in current system for complaining about workplace grievances.

The Metropolitan Police is to overhaul its internal grievance processes for all staff complaining of discrimination, bullying or victimisation, following recommendations made in a report.

New procedures will be implemented and additional resources and training devoted to investigating and resolving complaints more effectively.

The move follows an independent review commissioned by the Met of its Fairness At Work (FAW) policy prompted by the employment tribunal case brought by former PC Carol Howard .

The tribunal recommended an independent review after the case highlighted deficiencies in the way her complaints were handled.

The report also highlights results from a survey conducted with more than 11,000 officers and staff which showed a lack of confidence in the current system, particularly when dealing with allegations of discrimination or bullying and harassment.

Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt said: “It became clear during the Carol Howard case that our internal processes had failed and needed to be improved in a number of key areas.

“The report recognises we responded straight away by improving our oversight and management of these cases but Professor Roy Lewis and Acas’s work gives us a clear framework from which we will build a better system from the bottom up.

“Only a very small proportion of our staff and officers feel the need to make complaints about treatment linked to discrimination, bullying or harassment – only 61 colleagues out of a workforce of nearly 50,000 in 2014/15.

“Nevertheless there is complete commitment from the Met’s management board to do this properly and devote the necessary resources to it.

“We are especially concerned by the number of people who told us that they fear being victimised if they raise a complaint, regardless of whether that fear is justified. That has never been acceptable but we will be making it very clear to our staff that victimisation will never be tolerated, will be investigated, and will have serious repercussions if it occurs.”