Members of the Oireachtas Women's Caucus Group gathered earlier this week. Sam Boal

Everyone in the Oireachtas is to 'promote dignity and respect' for their colleagues

They have agreed they will “adopt consistent standards” on the issue in the wake of sexual assault and harassment scandals here and abroad.

IN THE WAKE of the sexual harassment scandals both in Ireland and internationally, organisations are turning to examine how they deal with such issues.

That includes the home of Ireland’s political parties, and tonight it was announced that the Houses of Oireachtas are to promote dignity and respect across all of their groups and parties.

Earlier today, the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission had a meeting where it “considered the ongoing public and media commentary in relation to bullying and harassment in organisations”. The members were also briefed on the policies in place in both the Oireachtas service and political parties to support dignity and respect in the workplace.

At the meeting, they agreed that all groups and parties in the Oireachtas “should adopt consistent standards to promote dignity and respect for everyone in the Houses of the Oireachtas”.

In particular, the Commission noted the policies that political parties have in place, as employers, to satisfy their obligations under the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015 and the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Acts 2005 -2014.

The Commission said that the standards to promote dignity and respect for everyone in the Houses of the Oireachtas will be included in a ‘Statement of Principles’ on dignity and respect.

The next step is for Oireachtas officials to proceed in consultation with party administrators and representatives of the parliamentary groups to agree on these principles, which will have to be approved by the Oireachtas Commission.

Earlier today, Sinn Fein TD Peadar Tóibín called on Arts Minister Heather Humphreys to send a “loud and clear” message to institutions receiving State funding that bullying or sexual harassment by staff will not be tolerated.

Read: Louis CK’s manager denies trying to cover up client’s sexual misconduct>

Read: Sinn Féin TD says people need ‘Minister Joe Duffy’ to get action on harassment and bullying claims>

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