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Employee Assistance Programme (2017)

Request

How many people have called the confidential hotline for staff to report incidents of bullying and harassment since it was launched in 2014?
Could you please break down this by year:
2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 to date?
And how many reports have been received since 25.10.2017 to date?

Andrea Leadsom announced the "strengthening" of the support team on
30.10.2017 - how many people were working on it and how many are now working on it?
How many referrals for investigation have occurred?
How many cases have been closed?

 

 

Response

You asked a number of questions about the ‘confidential hotline for staff’ which we have sought to answer below. We have interpreted your request to be for information about the confidential helpline for Members’ staff which is part of an Employee Assistance Programme currently run by Health Assured. This programme provides, amongst other benefits, a free 24/7 confidential helpline. The service allows staff to discuss and seek advice on personal and professional issues, including:
• Health and well-being information
• Financial issues
• General advice on employment law
• Stress at home or work and relationship matters

Since May 2014, Health Assured collects the total number of calls made to the helpline and reports this figure to the House of Commons on a monthly basis. Due to the public interest in this service and from 1 November 2017, the House of Commons intends to proactively publish on a quarterly basis the total number of monthly calls to the helpline.


You asked how many people per year have called the confidential hotline for staff to report incidents of bullying and harassment since it was launched in 2014, and how many reports have been received between 25 October 2017 and 30 November 2017.

Information about report of bullying and harassment, from the launch of the service in May 2014 to 31 October 2016, is not held by the House of Commons. As previously described, the House only holds the total number of calls per month for this period. For the period 1 November 2016 to the 31 October 2017 we hold some additional information about the type of calls made during this twelve month period only, including a small number of calls made about bullying and harassment.

The disclosure of this number of calls (fewer than 5) would allow the personal data of the individuals concerned to be revealed. This information is therefore exempt by virtue of section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), as disclosure of this information to the public generally, in the House’s view, would not be consistent with data protection principles in the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). This is an absolute exemption and the public interest test does not apply.

You also asked how many people were working on the Health Assured helpline, both before and after 30 October 2017. This information is not held by the House of Commons.

Lastly, you asked how many referrals for investigation have occurred and how many cases closed. This information is also not held by the House of Commons. The Employee Assistance Programme’s helpline is a confidential service and no other details (or referrals for investigation) are shared with the House of Commons.