Save the Children must prioritise ‘people not reputation’ following Charity Commission report

Save the Children’s priority, following the release of a damning Charity Commission report into its response to sexual harassment allegations within the organisation, must be to put the interests of its staff before reputation, Unite said today (Thursday 5 March).

Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, welcomed the report which found instances of ‘serious failures and mismanagement’ in Save the Children’s handling of allegations against former chief executive Justin Forsyth and former policy director Brendan Cox in 2015.

The report also highlights “serious weaknesses” in the charity’s workplace culture.

The union, which has more than 200 members at Save the Children, said the report ‘brings to light the actions of an organisation that in the past tried to protect its reputation over its people’.

Unite regional coordinating officer Alan Scott said: “Unite pays tribute to staff who, through commitment to children and each other, have stuck with Save the Children. And we will continue to stand with those who are treated poorly and unfairly.

“Unite recognises the commission’s finding that Save the Children’s policies are applied inconsistently across the organisation and call for a strengthening of its capacity and ability to support its people and manage their concerns in a fair and consistent way. 

“Accountability must be seen at all levels of the organisation and we call on its leaders to address this at the highest levels, reflecting honestly on the effectiveness and integrity of its leadership.

“We call on Save the Children to commit its approach to one of transparency, with open communication and decision-making that prioritises people and not reputation.”

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