Yesterday I raised in the Dail the issue of bullying in the workplace and harassment of women:
“Have the Taoiseach or Government had a discussion on harassment and bullying in the workplace, specifically public employment and publicly funded institutions? We have had a slew of stories recently which have involved harrowing and grotesque allegations of bullying in the Gate Theatre, which has been a significant recipient of public funds over the years. In theatrical terms, it has a fantastic record. The description of what has been happening to women in partially publicly funded employment is hardly believable. I know the Taoiseach does not have a direct role in this, but as a public funder I ask him or his Government to take a leadership role.
This is an incredibly important issue, most obviously to women in the workplace. It is also important to young people in the workplace, whether men or women, who may be at the start of their careers. Powerful dominant figures may use their power and dominance to make life very difficult for other people and seek to extract behaviour and favours from them which they would not otherwise dream of attempting to do.
Having become Taoiseach, Deputy Varadkar is obliged to offer leadership. This is a policy issue. He cannot hide behind law. He has to make it clear what the standard of his Government will be in his approach to this. Do we require stronger legislation?”