Independent study of handling of harassment

Independent study of handling of harassment

Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen decided to commission an independent study to look at the handling of cases of harassment at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

"We take inappropriate behaviour very seriously. The Ministry and its missions abroad must provide its employees with safe workplaces. Since the employer and the organisations representing the employees seem to disagree about how the Foreign Ministry handles cases of harassment, we decided to commission an independent study," the Ministers say.

"As Ministers we want to ensure that the Foreign Ministry provides an atmosphere in which all its employees are respected.  We have supported this objective by participating in the Working Life 2020 – Workplace without Harassment -campaign. Everyone must be able to work without a threat of physical or mental violence, and be proud of their work without becoming a target of harassment or disparaging remarks.

The Ministry's guideline for a good workplace and the Early Support Model (so-called VARTU model), a joint guideline for the entire government, which entered into force in June, provides detailed instructions on how reports on harassment must be processed.

To ensure the legal protection of the parties, it is important that all reported cases are investigated. All cases of harassment are taken seriously and handled as cases concerning individual persons, that is, confidentially.  We do not accept any kind of inappropriate treatment.

Promoting a good working atmosphere is the responsibility of the entire workplace. The management have a particularly important role and responsibility for the creation of an equal and safe working environment. 

Inquiries: Raili Lahnalampi, Chief of Cabinet, Office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 50 550 7546, and Juha Kirstilä, Special Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, tel. +358 40 552 8200.

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