‘Government needs to act on sexual harassment at work’

A new alliance has launched and is calling on the government to bring in legislation to make employers responsible for tackling sexual harassment in the workplace.

 

The TUC, women’s rights organisations and charities have launched a joint campaign calling on the government to introduce a new law to make employers responsible for protecting their staff from sexual harassment at work.

TUC research has found that more than half (52%) of women – and nearly seven out of 10 LGBT people – have experienced sexual harassment at work.

Under current law there is no legal duty on employers to take proactive action to prevent harassment happening in their workplaces. Instead, the onus is on the victim of the sexual harassment to report it to their employer after it has happened.

The research also found that four out of five (79%) women who have been sexually harassed at work do not feel able to report it to their employer.

With the government set to launch its consultation on tackling sexual harassment soon, the TUC alliance  wants to see the law changed so employers have a legal duty to take preventative measures to ensure their workplaces are harassment-free.

The TUC says the new duty would be supported by a code of practice, explaining the steps managers need to take to prevent sexual harassment – such as carrying out mandatory training for staff and managers and having clear policies.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It’s shocking that in 2019 so many people experience sexual harassment and assault while at work.

“The government must strengthen the law to put responsibility for preventing harassment on employers.

“This would shift the burden of tackling sexual harassment away from individuals. And it would help end toxic workplace cultures that silence those who’ve been harassed.

“We’re calling on everyone who want to stop sexual harassment at work to join us and call on ministers to take action.”



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