Independent study of handling harassment

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will commission consultancy company Ramboll to conduct an independent study of how harassment incidents are handled in the Ministry.

On 23 October 2018, Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen announced their decision that a study will be made. The Ministers consider it important that an independent company conducts the study.

"We take inappropriate behaviour in the workplace very seriously. The Ministry and its missions abroad must provide their employees with safe workplaces. As it appears that the employer and the employee organisations hold differing views of how the Ministry for Foreign Affairs handles harassment incidents, we have decided to commission an independent study of the matter," Soini and Virolainen said.

The Non-discrimination Ombudsman, the Ombudsman for Equality, the Foreign Ministry's human resources management, the Ministry's senior management, and representatives of the employee organisations (Union of Civil Servants of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, UHVY, and the Ministry's members in the Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff Akava), among others, were asked to submit their views. The Ministry was particularly interested in how inappropriate behaviour and harassment in the workplace could be better prevented and how such incidents could be addressed more effectively. 

Three themes were highlighted:

  • the importance of preventing inappropriate behaviour and harassment incidents
  • more effective handling of individual cases
  • consistency in follow-up.

The aim is to have hands-on recommendations so the Ministry is better able to develop its workplace activities. Another expected result of the study is to determine how the Ministry could strengthen its special expertise in workplace wellbeing. The study and its recommendations will be published in March 2019.

Inquiries: Raili Lahnalampi, Chief of Cabinet, Office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 50 550 7546

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