Granger Report - BBC Statement

Date: 27.03.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.14
Category: Corporate
The BBC has today issued the following statement regarding the publication of the Granger Report.

The BBC extends our deepest sympathies to Russell Joslin’s family, friends and colleagues. Russell was a respected and much loved member of the team at Radio Coventry and Warwickshire and he is greatly missed. We would also like to thank the Joslin family for their participation in this investigation at a very difficult time.

The BBC acknowledges that aspects of the handling of Russell Joslin’s case were not good enough. We have apologised unreservedly to the Joslin family.

It is clear from the report that a number of factors, including workplace culture, made it more difficult for Russell to raise concerns. Disappointingly, the report also refers to behaviour which falls below the high standards we expect of all those who work for the BBC. We would like to take this opportunity to re-iterate that the BBC will not tolerate any form of bullying and/or harassment and is committed to providing a workplace in which the dignity of individuals is respected. Employees raising a bullying and harassment grievance should be able to do so without fear of victimisation.

The BBC has had an opportunity to consider the report and to discuss it with the Joslin family.

Whilst this was an extreme case, it is important that we learn the lessons from Russell’s tragic death and we are determined to do so.

The BBC is taking the following actions:

  • The introduction of a dedicated confidential helpline line for any member of staff who has concerns about bullying or harassment issues and who does not feel able to raise their concerns with a member of the management team or with HR. This will be run by an independent organisation with staff trained to handle such calls. Employees raising issues of bullying and harassment should be able to do so without fear of repercussions
  • A thorough review of all the support services we provide to our staff in times of stress or difficulty at work
  • In addition, because our local radio teams are small and need to work very closely together - often to tight deadlines - we will set up externally facilitated sessions for each of our stations to discuss our Values and how teams work together. These sessions will be practical, designed to help teams reflect on how the Values apply in their team, and give all staff an opportunity to discuss what standards of behaviour they expect from each other. We expect these sessions to start within the next few weeks
  • Whilst it is clear in our Bullying and Harassment Grievance Policy that the BBC has a duty of care to all staff and that this may mean, on occasions, that managers may need to take up cases independently and not rely on the individual making a complaint in the first instance, we have not made managers sufficiently aware of their obligations in this regard. We will therefore develop further training for managers on how to recognise bullying and harassment and how to deal with formal and informal complaints
  • We will make managers more aware of the training that is already available on mental health in the workplace and ensure that this forms part of our standard leadership training. This will give them a broad understanding of different mental health conditions; help them to identify signs early; give them guidance on how to engage with and support affected individuals and point them to the expert support that is available internally and externally
  • We will be sending a copy of the published report to the Respect at Work review. In addition, Lesley Granger has contacted all those who gave evidence asking their consent to send their statements to the Respect at Work review.

Occupational Health

The BBC contracts Occupational Health services through an outsourced provider; Capita Health and Wellbeing who provide specialist Occupational Health support to the BBC across the UK, including: consultations for referrals relating to sickness absence management, fitness for work and suspected work related conditions.

Since the start of the Granger Investigation, Occupational Health have continued to review their service and have already implemented a range of actions including:

  • All cases where bullying and/or harassment is mentioned are now automatically referred up by the Occupational Health case manager to a senior member of the clinical team
  • Formal procedures have been reviewed and improvements implemented to ensure that Occupational Health assessment reports are always comprehensive and clear
  • Additional training for Occupational Health service case managers on the management of mental health cases has been put in place

In addition, the BBC is also looking at ways in which we can expand and develop the level of occupational health support that is provided to staff. In particular, the BBC has further agreed with our Occupational Health providers:

  • An immediate review of the working of the Occupational Health service with an aim of establishing a more joined-up/co-ordinated approach; and targets to increase the proportion of staff who have the opportunity to receive a face-to-face meeting with one of the Occupational Health medical team and the number of instances where managers, Occupational Health and HR meet face to face to discuss complex/sensitive cases
  • In particular, staff referred to Occupational Health with a mental health issue will automatically be given the opportunity to have a face-to-face meeting with an Occupational Health medical professional
  • The introduction of a requirement for managers to hold a follow-up review with Occupation Health and HR within three months of any member of staff being the subject of a face-to-face meeting with Occupational Health. This meeting will discuss progress and what further action may be required
  • The BBC and our Occupational Health providers will conduct a 12-month review of all the above actions taken in order to monitor progress.

We have discussed these actions with the Joslin family and believe that they address the areas which, for Russell, were not good enough. Whilst they cannot sadly help Russell, we believe they will make sure that any member of staff who is struggling to cope in the workplace will be better supported in the future.

The full report is available here (PDF)

BBC Press Office