Com­ple­tion of Ma­rine Scot­land ‘bul­ly­ing’ re­view

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS -

Ac­tion to en­sure ac­cept­able work­ing prac­tices at Ma­rine Scot­land is un­der way af­ter claims by a for­mer worker of be­ing taped to a chair at the agency’s Caith­ness base.

Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary Les­lie Evans car­ried out a re­view af­ter im­ages emerged show­ing ex-em­ployee DeeAnn Fitz­patrick tied to the chair.

The gov­ern­ment pol­icy of­fi­cer said: “Ear­lier this year I was asked by the First Min­is­ter to carry out a full re­view into the cir­cum­stances. I am clear that this was com­pletely un­ac­cept­able, what­ever the cir­cum­stances.

“A com­pre­hen­sive in­ter­nal re­view has now con­cluded. The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has ro­bust dis­ci­plinary pro­ce­dures to ad­dress be­haviour that falls below ex­pected stan­dards and I am sat­is­fied that these have been fol­lowed thor­oughly and ob­jec­tively in re­la­tion to this in­ci­dent.”

She said: “A broad set of ac­tions are un­der way in Ma­rine Scot­land to en­sure a work­ing en­vi­ron­ment that meets both the Civil Ser­vice Code and Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment Stan­dards of Be­haviour.”

She said she had an “un­wa­ver­ing com­mit­ment” to en­sur­ing a pos­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment for gov­ern­ment staff.

Ms Fitz­patrick raised com­plaints against the agency at an em­ploy­ment tri­bunal in Aberdeen in June and her lawyer sought dam­ages of up to £42,000.

The al­leged chair in­ci­dent could not be con­sid­ered as it was too long ago.

The tri­bunal fo­cused on ac­cu­sa­tions the 49-yearold re­ceived “threat­en­ing” cards on her birth­day and Valen­tine’s Day be­tween 2015 and 2017.

For Ma­rine Scot­land, so­lic­i­tors An­drew Gib­son ar­gued there was no proof the let­ters were sent by her work­mates.

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