On Thursday 5th March 2020 a fiercely critical report was released in respect of how Save the Children let down its staff by its poor handling of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour.
The Charity Commission found that there were weaknesses in the workplace culture, that complainants were let down by the charity, the handling of investigations found to be grossly inadequate and that the management had a corrosive impact on the workforce.
In other findings:
- When staff raised issues against the charity’s CEO in recent years, the management failed to follow their own processes and procedures
- Complaints were ignored or even investigated informally which ran against the charities own investigatory procedures
- Trustees were not made aware of allegations against the CEO and did not receive a copy of the report into corporate culture in 2015.
The report acknowledged that the charity was under pressure, but their approach to key issues was unduly defensive, and amounted to an omission of key facts in the investigation into the CEO in 2015.
In 2015 a workplace review of organisational culture highlighted serious employment engagement issues in the workplace and the biggest ‘behavioural workplace cues’ came from senior management were seen to role model and tolerate.
The Charity Commission added that they hope that the failings within Save the Children will prompt other charities to review their organisational culture and the role of senior leaders in creating an appropriate workplace culture that meet the wider expectations of the charity.
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Read the full report, setting out all the detail of the inquiry’s findings and conclusions.