Tuesday, 21 June 2022
Department of An Taoiseach
79. To ask the Taoiseach if his Department and public bodies and agencies that operate under his remit that operate in direct contact with members of the public have policies in place for members of the public to report instances of sexual harassment or assault that occur on the property of his Department or public body and agency under his remit; if so, if these policies are publicly accessible on the relevant website; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31753/22]
80. To ask the Taoiseach if his Department and public bodies and agencies that operate under his remit have policies in place for employees to report instances of sexual harassment or assault that occur involving other employees or members of the public or on the property of his Department or public body and agency that operate under his remit; if so, if these policies are publicly accessible on the relevant website; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31754/22]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 79 and 80 together.
The delivery of effective, quality customer service is a priority for my Department and forms an integral part of my Department's Strategy Statement, Corporate Governance Framework and the business plans of individual Divisions within the Department. While my Department and the National Economic and Social Development Office (NESDO), the only body under the aegis of my Department, are primarily engaged in policy development and do not have the same level of direct contact with citizens as other Departments and Offices, our staff endeavour to treat all citizens with whom they interact with dignity and respect. The process for making a customer complaint is available on my Department's website at the following link: www.gov.ie/en/organisation-information/179e67-quality-customer-service/.
My Department and NESDO are committed to safeguarding all children who might have direct contact with the Department and NESDO, in line with the Children First Act 2015. Further details of this including the Department's Children First Reporting Protocol are available on my Department's website at the following link: www.gov.ie/en/organisation-information/4ed9ba-children-first-act-2015/.
My Department is also committed to protecting dignity and respect of all its employees and to maintaining a positive working environment. As part of my Department’s induction process, all employees are asked to read ‘Dignity at Work - An anti-bullying, harassment and sexual harassment policy for the Irish Civil Service’. The key aims of this policy are to achieve a work environment where dignity and respect are to the forefront of our values and to maintain an environment where bullying, harassment and sexual harassment are not tolerated in any form. This Policy outlines the process for making a complaint of bullying, harassment or sexual harassment. It can be accessed on the gov.ie website at the following link: hr.old.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/here.pdf.