General Sir Nicholas Carter, Army Head, addresses issues of bullying and Harassment

General Sir Nicholas Carter, head of the British Army, has launched a new code of conduct to address the issues of bullying and sexual harassment within the force advising that a “no tolerance” message must be sent against prejudice.

In a survey commissioned by the army involving 7,000 soldiers, it was found that 13% of the women questioned had suffered “a particularly upsetting experience” and further alternative recent surveys suggest that almost 40% of service women had experienced unwanted sexual comments in the past year alone.

Promisingly, General Carter recognised and discussed the issue on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme stating “the world was moving on and the Army had to move with it”.

This can only be viewed as a positive step giving the increasing number of women serving in the UK forces across the board. In July 2014 there was in fact 15,780 women serving across the forces as a whole making up 10% of its personnel.

General Carter reasons in the interview that “No, I’m not arguing for political correctness, what I’m arguing for is to live by our values and standards and to accept everyone in an inclusive way” he went on to state “I think there is a risk we will lose sight of our ultimate goal, which is to close with and kill the Queen’s enemies, and we have to have that at the forefront of our mind, but equally we cannot accept unacceptable behaviour”.

Encouragingly, General Carter recognised that “We are on a journey here and I’m making a commitment personally as a head of this institution to try and change that”.

It was also recognised, in the same interview that the Army suffered with a lack of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) soldiers who make up just over 10% of the Army’s 87,000 personnel, many coming from Commonwealth countries not the UK.

General Carter requested on all fronts “Give me time – the effort is there and we are going to do something about it”.

It would appear to us at Michael Lewin Solicitors that the unacceptable levels of bully and harassment in the work place currently remains widespread and must be addressed. Michael Lewin Solicitors have successfully represented in claims for numerous victims of bullying and harassment within the work place, both within the armed forces and the general working community at large.

If you believe that you would benefit from legal advice on this matter or believe that you have a claim against your employer, please call us on 0844 499 9302 or e mail stress@michaellewin.co.uk

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