Committee chair calls for ‘change to workplace culture’ as harassment inquiry is launched

Written by Liz Bates on 13 February 2018 in News

MPs will look at whether non-disclosure agreements are being used by employers to cover up harassment

The Palace of Westminster: Picture credit - Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/

MPs will look at whether non-disclosure agreements are being used by employers to cover up harassment, as part of a wider inquiry into workplace culture.

The Women and Equalities Committee will examine if the documents are enabling employees to be exploited and consider how to encourage victims of harassment to speak out.

Committee chair Maria Miller said: “Our recent evidence session with legal experts, employee and employers representatives painted a stark picture.

"We need to change workplace culture, keep women safe and provide effective legal remedies.”

The inquiry was set up after a series of claims of sexual harassment were levelled against MPs and other public figures last year.

Announcing the inquiry, Miller said women must come forward to speak about the "appalling experiences" that they had faced.

Proposals published last week recommended that MPs found to have bullied or harassed their staff should be asked to apologise in a letter and undergo training.

Under the plans they could also be suspended or forced to face a public vote on their future.

The committee has also called for a new independent code of behaviour applying to everyone on the parliamentary estate, including visitors.

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