Inappropriate conduct will not be tolerated, Forbes tells RTÉ staff

Director-general says employees should feel they work in ‘safe and supportive’ environment

  RTÉ director-general Dee Forbes: ‘Respect for each other both within RTÉ and with those we work with externally is a very important value for me and for the organisation.’ File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

RTÉ director-general Dee Forbes: ‘Respect for each other both within RTÉ and with those we work with externally is a very important value for me and for the organisation.’ File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

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RTÉ director-general Dee Forbes has written to all staff and contract employees at the broadcaster to advise them on its policies on sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour in the workplace.

In a message sent on Friday morning via RTÉ’s internal messaging system, Ms Forbes referred to issues raised recently of alleged inappropriate conduct in workplaces in Ireland and overseas.

“These issues continue to be reported upon,” she wrote. “For us at RTÉ, I would like to assure each and every one of you that any inappropriate conduct in the workplace will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Respect for each other both within RTÉ and with those we work with externally is a very important value for me and for the organisation. All of you working for RTÉ should feel that at all times that you are working in a safe and supportive environment. Anything else is unacceptable.”

Ms Forbes encouraged any member of staff who might have concerns or who felt affected in any way by the issues raised to contact a member of RTÉ’s human resources team in confidence, or a person on the company’s designated contacts list, or alternatively to use RTÉ’s confidential employee assistance programme.

In an interview earlier this week, actor Gabriel Byrne recalled that during his time working at RTÉ, there were “sex pests” at the station who would routinely harass women, including his girlfriend at the time.

A spokesman for RTÉ said that the timing of Ms Forbes’s message had no connection with that interview, or with any other single incident, but was the company’s response to the broader issues which had emerged recently.

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