Survivors Network Pledge

Date of Meeting:

29 March 2018

Report of:

Executive Director Neighbourhoods, Communities and Housing

Executive Director Finance and Resources

Contact Officer:


Larissa Reed


01273 294286



Ward(s) affected:








1.1         To seek permission to sign the Survivors’ Network Pledge and apply for the Over to you Kite Mark


2.         RECOMMENDATIONS:    


2.1         That Brighton and Hove City Council signs the Survivors Network Pledge and signs up for the Over to you Kite mark.




3.1         On International Women's Day 2018 the sexual violence charity Survivors Network launched the ‘Over to You Kitemark’. This has developed from the #MeToo movement and aims to drive real and lasting change in organisations. The Survivors Network has created a pledge for local businesses and organisations to sign up to in order to demonstrate the active work they are undertaking to challenge sexual harassment and violence in the workplace. 


The pledge says


We, the undersigned, recognise that we are in a significant historical moment regarding sexual harassment. We wish to harness this cultural shift to create lasting change, turning the initial important conversations into actions that will help us to build a better, safer and kinder city.  We support the new Over to You Kite mark, launched by Survivors’ Network here in Brighton & Hove, that calls on all local businesses and organisations to take the necessary steps to protect their staff and customers.


3.2      Brighton and Hove City Council will be awarded the Kitemark if we sign a five-point pledge that lays out practical ways that we would  address sexual harassment.

The points are:

·           Maintain a healthy and respectful environment free from discrimination based on gender to include all employees, customers, clients and others.

·            Not tolerate any form of sexual harassment or sexual violence including images or sayings which may objectify or degrade a group of people within the workplace or at any company-sponsored events.

·            Immediately and respectfully respond to every claim of sexual harassment or sexual violence by an employee or client regardless of the victim's gender or previous claims of harassment or violence.

·            Maintain and actively review a sexual harassment/sexual violence policy for employees, and provide a copy of this to Survivors' Network.

·            Regularly discuss protocols for reporting sexual harassment/sexual violence with employees.

3.3         If Brighton and Hove Council signs the pledge. There will be an expectation that we renew our signature of the pledge annually, providing evidence of any changes made to our policies.  Brighton and Hove Council will also be added to list businesses and organisations certified with the kite mark which will be displayed on the Survivors' Network website.

3.4         The council already meets most of the requirements for the kite mark, however work would be required to ensure that the protocol for reporting sexual harassment/sexual violence was regularly discussed with employees. In addition, we do not currently have a separate sexual harassment/sexual violence policy, so work would be required to complete this.




4.1      Ensuring that staff have a safe and secure environment to work in has always been a priority of the council. Signing this pledge and obtaining the kite mark will demonstrate that commitment


4.2      While the kite mark does not guarantee no sexual harassment will take occur in the work place, it ensures better safeguards will be in place and, hopefully, that staff will be better prepared to believe and support survivors.




5.1         There has been no community engagement; however the proposal has been shared with the council’s Women’s Network group. We would look to consult with relevant parties in developing new policies in this area


6.         CONCLUSION


6.1         By signing the pledge and obtaining the kite mark, the Council will be committing to undertaking work which will ensure there are robust safeguards in place to support any victims of sexual harassment. Signing the pledge will also send a clear message to our workforce that Brighton and Hove City Council believe there is no place for sexual harassment within our council.




Financial Implications:


7.1      Any costs arising from meeting the requirements of the Kite Mark – such as drafting the new sexual harassment/ Sexual violence policy - will be met from current budgets.  


            Finance Officer Consulted:     Monica Brooks                              Date: 16/03/18


Legal Implications:


7.2         There are no direct legal implications arising from the recommendation in the report. The proposed new policy and protocol will need to be developed in accordance with the Council’s existing Human Resources procedures, including appropriate consultation and Trade Union engagement.


            Lawyer Consulted:  Elizabeth Culbert                                 Date: 19th March 2018


            Equalities Implications:


7.3      Currently women are more likely to be victims of sexual harassment or sexual violence.  This piece of work will increase the chances of victims of sexual harassment or sexual violence being able to speak out have issues tackled appropriately.









Documents in Members’ Rooms



Background Documents

Survivors Network l‘Over to You Kitemark’.