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Helpline (2016)

Request

  1. A copy of the standard written guidance or documentation given to employees within the House of Commons (including MPs) advising them how to make or escalate complaints against other individuals.
  2. The number of calls received by the 24-hour phone line set up in mid-2014 (source via BBC) dubbed a ‘harassment hotline’ in every month of its existence up to and including March 2016. (i.e. I am requesting the number of calls received in each and every month).
  3. Any analysis conducted and/or report and/or survey produced within the House of Commons (internally) analysing the effectiveness of the ‘harassment hotline’ referred to above in of itself or compared with the previous established complaints procedure before the hotline’s inception.

 

Response

It may help you to know that people working at the House of Commons can be broken down into three groups; MPs, MPs’ staff and staff of the House of Commons. MPs and MPs’ staff are not House employees; MPs are individual employers who staff their offices much as a small business does.

  1. A copy of the standard written guidance or documentation given to employees within the House of Commons (including MPs) advising them how to make or escalate complaints against other individuals.
    Our response to this question provides information about written guidance given to employees of the House of Commons.
    Staff of the House who wish to make a complaint about another employee may do so through the grievance procedure. Details of this are provided in chapter 6 of the Staff Handbook, which is available on the parliamentary web pages. You will see the Handbook provides guidance on our Valuing Others Policy (section 3), harassment and bullying (section 4) and the Complaints Procedure (section 5).
    If a member of House staff wishes to make a complaint about a MP, then the House’s Respect Policy may be used. Details of this are also available in the Staff Handbook, under chapter 6, section 7.
    As the information you request is reasonably accessible to you otherwise than under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), your request for a copy of the guidance is refused. In refusing your request the House is applying the exemption set out in section 21 (1) and (2) (a) of the FOIA. This is an absolute exemption and the public interest test does not apply.
    The House does not issue such guidance to MPs or MPs’ staff.
  2. The number of calls received by the 24-hour phone line set up in mid-2014 (source via BBC) dubbed a ‘harassment hotline’ in every month of its existence up to and including March 2016. (i.e. I am requesting the number of calls received in each and every month).
    This information is held by the House of Commons. The 24-hour phone line is a service for MPs’ staff, not for MPs themselves or for staff of the House.
    Monthly number of calls received by Health Assured, the provider of the Employee Assistance Programme for MPs staff.
  3. Any analysis conducted and/or report and/or survey produced within the House of Commons (internally) analysing the effectiveness of the ‘harassment hotline’ referred to above in of itself or compared with the previous established complaints procedure before the hotline’s inception.
    This information is not held by the House of Commons. No analysis, report or survey has been conducted.