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Monday, 6 September 2021

BBC Retains Bullying Staff Despite Zero Tolerance Policy

The BBC has retained the services of dozens of workplace bullies, despite promising a zero tolerance approach to such behaviour.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act confirm that in the last two years the national broadcaster upheld or partly upheld 33 complaints of workplace bullying, but only one perpetrator was dismissed.

Over the same period of time 105 complaints were rejected and 16 were withdrawn.

These latest findings come eight years after the BBC commissioned the Respect at Work Review in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

As a result of the Review, the BBC pledged to implement a zero tolerance culture "where people feel able to raise concerns and have confidence that they will be dealt with appropriately".

But one BBC insider told The Times that the Corporation's attitude was "more about protecting the institution than the individual".

Paul Siegert, broadcasting organiser at the National Union of Journalists, said: "Many of those accused are managers and the BBC are scared to dismiss them because they are worried about the negative publicity. Often those guilty leave quietly with a payoff, a wholly unacceptable way of cracking down on inappropriate behaviour."

The BBC should be ambitious about resolving cases quickly, but they can be complex and need to be investigated with rigour and care."

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