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Transparency On Bullying And Discrimination

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

GMB Scotland Report Shows Lack Of Transparency From Bodies Receiving Public Funds On Policies Dealing With Bullying And Discrimination At Work

All bodies that rely upon support of taxpayers should have effective zero tolerance policies in place and underpinned by an open and transparent approach says GMB Scotland.

GMB Scotland’s Young Member’s Network has published a report which has found a lack of transparency amongst a number of organisations backed by the taxpayer that were included in funding grants to the tune of £14.7 million.  

The report publishes findings of a Freedom of Information survey conducted in February 2015 which asked 18 organisations who received public funding in December 2014 to make available key information relating to policies for dealing with bullying, harassment and discrimination in the workplace. 

All but five organisations failed to respond completely with only two of the five releasing full information. Three of the five who responded replied citing that they are not public bodies therefore not obliged to answer the request.

The organisations contacted were: Families Outside; Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs; Drugs Action - Families First; Scottish Drugs Forum; Scottish Recovery Consortium; Alcohol Focus Scotland; Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland; Waverley Care; Scottish Training on Drugs and Alcohol; Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems; Lloyds Partnership Drugs Initiative; Capability Scotland; Enable Scotland; Scottish Youth Parliament; The Children's Parliament; Young Scot; Youth Link Scotland; and LGBT Youth Scotland. 

The next steps the report calls for includes the issuing of guidelines by the Scottish Government and other funders as well as the undertaking of a review of Freedom of Information legislation by the Scottish Information Commissioner to ensure that any taxpayer funded workplace does not exploit such legislation in order to prevent itself from being transparent and accountable regarding instances of bullying, harassment and discrimination. 

Drew Duffy, GMB Scotland Officer, said “The past year in Scotland has seen an increased focus on fair and decent work. The fact that bullying, harassment and discrimination in the workplace is a growing area of concern, in particular amongst young people.

All bodies that rely upon the support of taxpayers should have effective zero tolerance policies in place and underpinned by an open and transparent approach. 

Instead, we see a number of taxpayer funded organisations unwilling to demonstrate such an approach and make excuses or not even cooperate by responding at all. Who knows what hidden and alarming truths may be lurking behind.  

We call upon the Fair Work Convention, the Scottish Government, employers: and trade unions to note this report and its findings and strongly urge them to take action to correct the areas of concerns highlighted.”


Contact: Drew Duffy 07912 560806 or 0141 332 8641/9501 or GMB Press Office: 07974 251823 or 07921 289889.

Note to Editors

The report entitled “Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination in Scottish Workplaces: A Focus on Organisations receiving Public Funding” publishes FOI findings conducted over the course of 2015 by GMB Scotland as a result of a motion GMB Scotland submitted to STUC Youth Conference 2014.

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