A call was received from a young administrative employee who wanted advice about participating in an investigation of sexual harassment after being subjected to numerous comments and inappropriate touches during a training course. The caller was considering making a complaint through the formal route, but was unsure.
A colleague who was a witness had then raised an official complaint on her behalf without her consent, and asked her to make a formal statement. The caller was concerned about doing so, fearing repercussions.
Once a formal process has commenced, we cannot involve ourselves as this would interfere in the employer/employee legal relationship. The Guardian Service was, however, able to reassure the caller that the organisation was committed to dealing with such complaints, which was one of the reasons the Service had been commissioned. In this instance, providing reassurance to the contact was critical and provided confidence to the individual to progress matters.