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Mail on Sunday report - Save the Children statement

The Mail on Sunday has reported that Brendan Cox, a former senior employee of Save the Children, was accused of inappropriate behaviour while working at the charity in 2015.

The safety and wellbeing of our dedicated staff are of the utmost importance to us. Colleagues work tirelessly to help children survive, learn and thrive and it is right that we do all we can to look after them.  When complaints are made we investigate in accordance with our procedures. This was exactly the case in 2015. Mr Cox was suspended and a disciplinary process commenced. The panel included independent trustees and a QC, and the process was administered by a London law firm. Mr Cox resigned before it could be completed.

We are though never complacent and appreciate that best safeguarding and human resource practice is always evolving. Like others in the charity sector, we are now looking again at our processes for handling complaints. It is vital that our hard-working staff, our beneficiaries and those who work with us are safe and can speak out without fear if they have any concerns.

Kevin Watkins, who took over as chief executive in late 2016, told UK staff last week that he would show “zero tolerance” of any disrespectful behaviour. Mr Watkins has ordered a review to establish whether the system for dealing with complaints about behaviour in the workplace can be further improved. This will involve staff, trustees and external independent professionals, and will report to Mr Watkins directly.