§ Mr. McNamara
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is his Department's policy on sexual harassment at work; whether guidance on reporting complaints has been issued to all staff; how many complaints have been reported in the past five years; and what disciplinary action has been taken.
§ Mr. Cope
[holding answer 5 March 1990]: Both the Northern Ireland civil service and the home civil service regard sexual harassment at work by their employees as a disciplinary offence.
Guidance on reporting complaints was issued to Northern Ireland civil servants on 12 October 1988. In the past five years, 13 cases have been recorded by its equal opportunities unit, two of which are still under consideration and five have resulted in disciplinary action being taken.
With regard to the home civil service part of the Northern Ireland Office, revised guidance on reporting complaints is shortly to be issued to staff. There is no record of any complaints of sexual harassment having been reported to the equal opportunities unit in the past five years.