Make preventing workplace sexual harassment a priority

Everyone deserves to feel safe and respected at work. But right 39% of women are affected by sexual harassment when they’re just trying to do their job.

The solutions have been laid out: an alliance of more than 100 organisations from across the country has just backed the five key reforms they say are needed to address the scourge of sexual harassment.

Changes like: amending work health and safety laws to explicitly include sexual harassment. This would be a game changing first step to improving Australia’s sexual harassment protections. It would shift the burden from people who have been harassed, to the agencies tasked with ensuring workplace safety; enable health and safety regulators to investigate complaints of workplaces that are unsafe for women; and include sexual harassment in the list of safety risks employers know they need to manage.

Can you help make the call for these changes so loud that our political leaders can’t ignore them? Sign and share the petition.

More information (click to view) 

Health professionals, lawyers, community groups, unions and peak bodies, have come together to launch call for these five reforms:

  1. Dedicated prevention efforts to address the underlying gendered drivers of sexual harassment, which should be part of a holistic strategy to prevent violence against women and promote gender equality in line with Change the story: A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia.
  2. Stronger and clearer legal duties on employers to take proactive steps to prevent sexual harassment at work, and strong and effective regulators that have the full suite of regulatory tools and resources necessary to effectively tackle sexual harassment, including as a cultural, a systemic and a health and safety issue.
  3. Access to fair, effective and efficient complaints processes, including a new right of action under the Fair Work Act, extended time limits, increased transparency of conciliation outcomes where appropriate, and other amendments and resources necessary to address the unique barriers that currently prevent workers who experience sexual harassment from taking effective legal action.
  4. Appropriate advocacy and support for workers who experience sexual harassment, including access to information, counselling and legal services that are appropriately resourced and coordinated.
  5. Accessible reporting tools, including piloting an online reporting tool that assists people to report and address problem behaviours and seek support, and identifies trends to assist with prevention and enforcement efforts.

You can read the joint statement and see the full list of signatories here.

To Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten,

Everyone deserves to work in a safe environment, free from sexual harassment.

We urge you to commit to urgent and coordinated action to improve prevention and responses to sexual harassment, including by: investing in dedicated primary prevention efforts, providing stronger and clearer legal duties to provide a safe work environment; providing access to fair, effective and efficient complaints processes; providing appropriate advocacy and support for workers; and providing accessible reporting tools.


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