Set up by the Ministry of Defence and employee support organisation Health Assured, the helpline is staffed 24/7 by trained bullying, harassment and discrimination advisers and qualified counsellors. The advisors, who are independent from the chain of command, can provide emotional support, information, and guidance to callers.
Individuals will be able to anonymously repot incidents to independent advisers and seek help on how to take issues forward, including through local support networks or the service complaints system, where necessary.
The service will provide personnel with a safe place to discuss their experiences and work towards a resolution, with anonymity if required. Where there are reported incidents of unacceptable behaviours, serious action will be taken.
Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace said:
‘There is no place for bullying, harassment or discrimination in any corner of defence, and this helpline is a critical step towards stamping out unacceptable behaviour’.
Establishing the helpline was one of the key recommendations within Air Chief Marshal Wigston’s review into unacceptable behaviour across defence that was published last year.
Since the publication of the Wigston Review, a dedicated team has been established to oversee progress against the recommendations with an initial focus on updating policies and infrastructure for serving personnel to identify and report unacceptable behaviour at an earlier stage.