Parliament workplace review seeks action

·1-min read


* Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet deputy secretary Stephanie Foster was asked in February to look at the procedures and processes relating to serious incidents in the parliamentary workplace, following claims of rape and harassment of women.

* Initial advice given to the prime minister led to the establishment of a 24/7, independent, confidential and trauma-informed phone support line for all staff and parliamentarians.

* Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Labor leader Anthony Albanese are understood to have discussed the issue with Brittany Higgins.

* The final report by Ms Foster found gaps in procedures and processes when it comes to responding to and preventing serious incidents and providing support for those impacted by them.

* The report calls for a face-to-face education program helping managers and staff understand their obligations in relation to a safe and respectful workplace, and to recognise and respond appropriately to serious incidents or patterns of behaviour in the workplace.

* It also seeks an independent, confidential, complaints mechanism for serious incidents.

* Mr Morrison will take the Foster report to cabinet and talk to political leaders and MPs about its implementation.

* Meanwhile, Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins is continuing her review into longer-term cultural and systemic issues.