Extensive discussions between the BBC and unions within the Federation of Entertainment Unions over a new policy to address complaints from staff and freelancers over bullying and harrassment have reached a conclusion.
The trade unions and the BBC issued the following statement on Wednesday 4 February 2015.
“The unions (BECTU, Equity, the Musicians’ Union, NUJ, Unite and The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain) and the BBC met on 21st January 2015 as part of on-going discussions about bullying & harassment grievance processes. Agreement has now been reached on a number of additional elements to our proposals, including the involvement of an external expert from the initial grievance through to any subsequent appeal.
“Both the BBC and the unions welcome these agreed changes which are designed to improve the way complaints are handled and how staff and freelancers are supported throughout the process.
“These changes will be implemented as soon as possible allowing time for the detail to be worked through and will be for a trial period of 1 year from implementation, to be reviewed.
“The Bullying and Harassment Grievance Policy and Guide, which apply to staff and freelancers, will be amended to incorporate the agreed changes to the formal procedure and will be published in the near future.”
Discussions with the unions will continue to confirm the timescale for the publication of an amended Bullying and Harrassment Grievance Policy and Guide. The unions will also be consulted over the appointment of the external experts.