Survey of Scottish fire and rescue workers finds harassment and discrimination is commonplace

Almost one-third (31%) of Scottish fire and rescue workers have witnessed harassment or discrimination in the last three years, according to a report.

One in five (22%) Scottish firefighters also said they had personally experienced harassment or discrimination at work, the study of more than 3,400 rescue employees revealed.

The majority (60%) of those who reported problematic cases felt their claim was dealt with ineffectively and just 23% said their claim was dealt with efficiently.

The report, commissioned by all eight of Scotland’s fire brigades, found more than one-third (36%) believed minority ethnic groups are not adequately represented in the fire service.

However, 87% of the respondents accepted it was their responsibility to promote equality and diversity policies across the fire service.

Jeff Ord, HM Chief Inspector of Fire Services for Scotland, said: “The review and its findings are just the beginning of what is obviously a considerable challenge to address cultural and organisational issues.

“Scotland has taken the lead in undertaking this review and, it has to be said, at a particularly difficult time given that there was a period of almost three years of industrial unrest immediately prior to this review.”

Almost one in four Scottish firefighters also said they were dissatisfied with their job and one in 10 said they were planning to leave their jobs in the next five years.

More than one-quarter (27%) also said they had been unfairly denied access to training over the past three years because of  hierarchical structures and a lack of work contacts.

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