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Helpline and Tribunals (2016)

Request

  1. How many calls have been made to the Speaker's Anti-Bullying Hotline from 2014 until present. Please can I have the number of calls broken down the for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 (until present)
  2. How many employment tribunals have been brought against MPs since 2011 until present. Please can I have the number of calls broken down the for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 (until present)

 

Response

  1. How many calls have been made to the Speaker's Anti-Bullying Hotline from 2014 until present. Please can I have the number of calls broken down for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 (until present).
    We have interpreted your request to be for information about the Employee Assistance Programme, which is a free confidential helpline is available 24/7 for all Members’ staff, provided on behalf of the House Service by Health Assured since 2014.
    This information is held by the House of Commons. Calls made to the Employee Assistance Programme are as follows:
    • 2014 (from 1 May) 87
    • 2015 108
    • 2016 (to 31 August) 163
    It may help you to know that, whilst the House of Commons is not the employer of MPs’ staff and has no jurisdiction over their employment matters, the House takes the welfare of all those who work in and visit Parliament very seriously. MPs employ their staff directly, so the House is limited in its ability to intervene in employment matters, such as allegations of bullying or harassment by MPs of their staff. In April 2014, the House of Commons Commission agreed to subscribe to this independent Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) to provide support to MPs’ staff on a range of personal and work-related issues. This commenced on 1 May 2014 and is intended as a safety-net to complement the existing pastoral care and the internal processes that have been put in place by the main political parties. All calls are answered by qualified and experienced counsellors who assess the nature of the callers’ problems to offer interventions such as telephone counselling; arrange face-to face counselling; or to direct them to practical helplines.
  2. How many employment tribunals have been brought against MPs since 2011 until present. Please can I have the number of calls broken down the for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 (until present).
    Members of Parliament employ and are responsible for their own staff and are not obliged to give the House of Commons information about any Employment Tribunal claims made against them. However, some Members may seek advice from the Members' HR Advice Service for some personnel issues, so some information is held by the House of Commons.
    Between 1 January 2011 and 2 September 2016, we hold records of 14 employment tribunal claims against Members of Parliament. As we previously stated. this list may not be exhaustive; other Members’ staff may have been involved in tribunal cases which we are not aware of.
    We have interpreted the second half of your question – “Please can I have the number of calls broken down the for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016” - to be for the numbers of employment tribunals brought against MPs to be broken down by year. We hold no information about any claims lodged in 2014, but we hold information about 3 claims lodged in 2015 and a further 3 claims lodged in 2016.