Inquiry at the National Lottery Community Fund finds culture of bullying, harassment and discrimination
An independent inquiry report has found that one in three people working at the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF), have witnessed or experienced bullying, harassment or discriminatory behaviours. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) commissioned the report in March this year, after an article in The Times newspaper reported staff concerns
Sixty five one-to-one interviews with staff were undertaken across the organisation, and along with nearly 300 written submissions, including a small number from former staff.
In nearly half of the cases mentioned, the instigator was said to be a senior manager or senior management team or board member, with over quarter citing the line manager. Two thirds of those who had experienced or witnessed bullying, harassment or discrimination were dissatisfied with the way the cases had been handled. The report states that “It is clear that people lack confidence in the NLCF’s commitment to resolving these issues and also to doing so fairly. There is a sense that the odds are stacked against any complainant who raises an issue about a more senior person”
At an organisational level the report says that the NLCF lacks a “single, unifying culture”, allowing a series of micro-cultures to exist. It recommends a full-scale review of board remit, membership, size, committee structure, skills requirements, individual roles and responsibilities; a revision of dispute resolution procedures; and that a smaller executive team is put in place with a clear strategic remit.
NLCF’s recently appointed CEO David Knott has committed the organisation to taking urgent action, with the aim of having a culture that is fair, inclusive and consistent for all. He said that the organisation would also publish a strategy to address equity, diversity and inclusion issues.