Julian Knight MP has called for new MPs to receive extensive, compulsory training in how to run and office and manage their team – and for their oath of office to include a pledge to respect staff.
Speaking in a high-profile House of Commons debate about workplace bullying, he suggested that the Oath of Office for MPs should be amended to include the line “we respect all staff working for us and in this place”.
Julian also pointed out that many new MPs are expected to staff their offices without previous management or business experience, and therefore recommended that the Parliamentary authorities ensure that all new members receive adequate training, in order to ensure that they could provide a safe, happy working environment.
Speaking after the debate, Julian said:
“I believe that MPs have a collective duty to ensure that everybody who works to support us in the House of Commons are able to work in a safe, respectful environment. Including that in our oath of office would be a visible symbol of how seriously we take that responsibility.
“We should also ensure that all new MPs receive adequate training on how to staff and administer an office. Many new Members enter the House of Commons without previous management experience, and it isn’t fair on their staff to leave them unsupported.
“By instituting proper training we can help to ensure a good working environment throughout Westminster, without undermining the independence of MPs.”