Monaghan Report

21 Dec 2020
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Progress on Recommendations

In Spring 2020, GMB commissioned an independent investigation into sexual harassment and our organisational culture.

Published in September 2020, the report makes difficult reading and highlights a number of serious issues that our union must tackle.

The independent investigation found that GMB was institutionally sexist and that bullying and harassment are endemic within our structures. 

As a union we have no option but to face up to the scale of this long-standing problem across the organisation, to apologise - and now work towards the sort of transformational change that is needed to ensure our union lives by the values we fight for every day on behalf of our members.

This page provides a running update on the actions taken by GMB to implement the recommendations in the independent investigation, and to show progress as it is made.

Update - 21 December 2020

On 10 December,  a group of CEC members of the taskforce representing different equality reserved seats interviewed candidates for the External Facilitator position. 

GMB is pleased to announce that the panel appointed Helen Mott, an independent consultant into this position. Helen is a highly experienced sexual harassment and gender equality consultant and trainer, who has worked for over 20 years with NGOs, national and local government, and many other organisations, in transforming workplace culture through policy and practise.

Helen's wealth of experience and expertise will help support the established taskforce in implementing the recommendations from Karon's report. The taskforce is due to meet early in the new year

Update - 5 November 2020

On the 5 November, the CEC met for a special meeting which included several agenda  items covering the Karon Monaghan report and accompanying recommendations, updates and actions.  

 The makeup of the taskforce, a group created to lead on recommendations and other work stemming from the report.  

The appointment of an external facilitator, an action previously agreed by the CEC, to support the work of the taskforce. 

Changes to the recruitment and interview process for regional secretary appointments in line with the Karon Monaghan report recommendations. 


The CEC agreed that the taskforce will consist of 17 people, including representation from different key stakeholder groups, including CEC members, GMB regional and national staff and GMB staff union representatives.  

There will be12 seats for CEC members, ensuring representation from all of  GMB’s 5 equality reserved seats, all GMB regions and industrial sectors. 

CEC Reserved seat numbers on the taskforce were agreed to be roughly 50% of the total number of reserved seats on the CEC.  

  • 1  LGBT+ Reserved seat  
  • 1  Disabled reserved seat  
  • 1  Young reserved seat  
  • 3  Race reserved seats  
  • 5 Regional women's seats  
  • National President Barbara Plant 
  • 2  seats - Regional Equality Officers 
  • 2  seats - National Negotiating Committee reps (staff union) 
  • 2 seats - Director of  Human Resources and the National Equality and Inclusion Officer  

External Facilitator 

The CEC also agreed that CEC members of the Taskforce will form an interview panel to appoint an external facilitator. This will be from an agreed shortlist of suitable candidates, decided by the CEC, who will be invited to an interview.  

Regional Secretary Recruitment Process  

Due to 2 Regional Secretary vacancies arising, the CEC accepted changes to the recruitment process inline with the Karon Monaghan report and best practise including: 

The appointment of an independent external Observer to be present at both the assessment day and formal interviews for these vacancies. 

The outgoing Regional Secretary will not be present at either stage of the interview process.  

And in line with existing guidelines: 

The interview panel will be gender balanced and appropriately reflect equality and diversity strands. The panel will also reflect industrial, Regional and National representation. 

All panel members will have completed appropriate Interview training. 

Update from CEC – 22 September 2020 

GMB’s Central Executive Council (CEC) met on Tuesday 22 September to discuss the recently published Monaghan Report and the recommendations that were put forward as a result of the independent investigation.

All the report’s recommendations were agreed in principle and a taskforce will now be set up to start working on implementation.  The taskforce composition was agreed, to include representatives from CEC members and staff, and an external facilitator will be appointed to facilitate the task force. 

Other recommendations that will be adopted, with immediate effect, are the inclusion of the National Equality Officer on the Senior Management Team and that Regional Secretaries will no longer attend CEC meetings for the time being. 

The Monaghan Report cannot be an investigation that is conducted then forgotten about. We will be monitoring and publishing our progress on this webpage, so that our members can see exactly what we are doing and when.  

The Safe Space provided by the Survivors Trust may remain a permanent facility available to members and staff, and this can be accessed here

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