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Prisons: Disclosure of Information

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 76868, tabled on 20 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to his oral contribution of 14 July 2020, Official Report, column 1373, what steps he is taking to ensure effective consultation with representatives from trades unions during the HMPPS review into the whistleblowing process for prison staff.

Answered on

28 July 2020

The Ministry of Justice Integrity Hotline is in place to allow staff in prisons to raise any concerns they may have about the workplace or their own wellbeing. HMPPS has effective and reliable systems for reporting and recording adverse security, and health and safety incidents. This allows staff to voice any concerns, and for health and safety teams to monitor and take action where necessary.

We are also taking action to address unacceptable behaviours within HMPPS. In the coming months and will be putting in place a dedicated Unit to support our objective of reducing discrimination, bullying and harassment. This will include a phone line to provide advice and guidance.

The Ministry of Justice Integrity Hotline forms part of the whistleblowing arrangements across the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Justice whistleblowing policy applies to all workers including non-directly employed prison staff.

The existing Ministry of Justice whistleblowing policy was reviewed by the Ministry of Justice HR Policy team during 2020. Drafts of the updated policy and supporting guidance documents were shared with the HMPPS trade unions, as part of a wider consultation exercise. We are aiming to conclude this and launch the new policy in the Autumn.