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IPA publishes Code of Best Practice on Dignity at Work

The IPA has today (22 May 2018) published its Code of Best Practice on Dignity at Work.


The IPA recognises that many members already have in place, as a minimum, an equal opportunities policy setting out generic anti-harassment and bullying principles. However, with a view to encouraging all members to adopt the highest possible level of best practice, the IPA has put together:

1. A template ‘dignity at work’/’anti-harassment and bullying’ policy that can be used by members as a basis for either reviewing or preparing their own.

2. Accompanying guidelines for implementing such policies. These emphasise what actions each agency could take to prevent or identify and then eradicate inappropriate behaviour such as sexual banter or objectification of women and men.

The template policy, these guidelines and signposts to other sources of information, together form the IPA’s Code of Best Practice on Dignity at Work (the ‘Code’), advocating an end to inappropriate work cultures.

Says Sarah Golding, IPA President and CEO of The&Partnership:

"As President of the IPA I felt it was important that the IPA, through its Council, provided additional guidance around what is appropriate behaviour in the workplace. I am very happy we are now in a position to publish our Code of Conduct for Dignity at Work, to help our members understand what is, and what is not acceptable.”

Says Juliet Bawtree, Associate Director, Legal & Public Affairs (Employment), IPA:

“The conversation about harassment both in society generally and specifically in the workplace, has risen to a crescendo in recent times. This has been amplified by campaigns such as #MeToo, and #TimesUp. It is important then that IPA members are part of this conversation, helping push forward this positive movement for ending any inappropriate workplace cultures that demean and objectify men and women.

“The IPA’s Code is intended to promote this, helping safeguard dignity at work for agency staff, and should not be seen as a burden. Rather, the IPA hopes that it will be a helpful tool for ongoing change for good in member agency working cultures. It is intended to form part of an agency’s wider diversity initiatives.

“Having a properly implemented and supported dignity at work policy will foster a more diverse and productive work culture. Agency staff should in turn be empowered to produce their best work, without cultural or social barriers, so their agency will shine.”

The Code was drawn up following an agreement at the IPA’s recent Council meeting comprising leaders from 47 agencies across the UK, headed up by IPA President Sarah Golding. The Guidance and template policy are available to download for IPA member agencies only. Full information about the IPA’s wider diversity initiatives, including practical steps for agencies, is available on the IPA’s Diversity Hub.

The IPA will be hosting a breakfast briefing for its members to go through the Code in mid-June.

Last updated 23/05/2018

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