New Survey Reveals Culture of Bullying at Holyrood


By Oliver Farrimond

SHOCKING survey statistics have revealed that more than a fifth of staff at the Scottish Parliament feel that they are victims of bullying or harassment.

Workers at Holyrood were responding to a “staff equality audit”, with many claiming to being subjected to “unacceptable behaviour”, mostly from colleagues.

The survey also shows one in eight staff complaining directly of bullying, with others citing unreasonable behaviour, harassment and discrimination.

The news comes despite repeated efforts by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body to prevent workplace intimidation and harassment.

The measures in place include the introduction of a new “Dignity at Work” policy, the appointment of a £60,000-a-year labour relations chief and the setting up of a special hotline for employee counselling.

A spokesman for the SPCB said: “We take all staff feedback seriously and, while there are areas where improvement can and will be made, we believe the parliament has established a positive working environment which ensures staff are treated fairly.

“Overall, we believe our staff survey reflects an organisation which promotes equality, fairness and good employment practice.”

However a senior figure at the Taxpayers’ Alliance hit out at the findings, claiming that those found culpable of workplace bullying at the Scottish Parliament should be “dismissed”.

Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “There seem to be a lot of employees being bullied at the Scottish Parliament, which is worrying.

“On top of this, if staff are unhappy they will be less productive, so clearly it is in taxpayers’ interests for the workforce to be able to do their job without the threat of bullying.

“Bullying and harassment should not be tolerated in any work environment and those who are guilty of it at the Scottish parliament should be dismissed.”