NCVO apologises after harassment, discrimination and victimisation complaints upheld

The NCVO has upheld “a number of complaints” relating to “harassment, victimisation, race discrimination and issues around management of health and safety”.

A total of 10 complaints were looked at by the charity sector body, which is now following “internal disciplinary procedures”.

NCVO chair Priya Singh has apologised to “everyone who has been harmed as a result of these incidents and by the failings at NCVO”.

The complaints have been investigated following an independent report published in July 2020 into equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) issues at the NCVO.

This found the organisation was blighted by a lack of diversity and “deep-rooted cultural traits”. An EDI sub committee was set up to hold NCVO’s governance to account.

“We will not accept incidents of bullying, harassment, and discrimination at NCVO,” said Singh.

“We have begun the process of deep cultural change in our organisation to ensure we can prevent and, when needed, identify and effectively deal with similar incidents should they arise.”

She added: “Following the appointment of our new people and culture team, and as recommended by our independent EDI report, we have introduced a clear process for making ‘whistleblowing’ reports.

“We are also currently reviewing and strengthening our internal policies and procedures, including how complaints and grievances are handled.

“Crucially, we want staff and managers to feel confident using our policies and procedures. We want a culture that recognises people raising issues as an opportunity for the organisation to learn and improve.”

NCVO interim chief executive Sarah Vibert said that the organisation is sharing the outcomes of the investigations “in order to be transparent and so we can be held to account both for the incidents themselves, but also for the actions we continue to take to develop a new culture at NCVO”.

She added: “My first thoughts are with those individuals who came forward and took part in a long and difficult investigation process. I want to thank you for sharing your experiences and, on behalf of NCVO, I also want to say sorry.”

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