Some very useful and essential information for the Fair Work Ombudsman in relation to the new sexual harassment protections.
It is highly recommended that all employers are familiar with the changes that are aimed at making sure that workers are protected and empowered to address sexual harassment at work.
This CANNOT be ignored.
My advice to employers is make sure that you have all of the following;
1. A workplace sexual harassment policy that clearly outlines;
* What sexual harassment is
* That it is unlawful
* What the behavioural expectations of your organisation are
* What are the consequences for engaging in sexual harassment in the workplace
2. Information so that your employers know where to find the policy (internet, HR etc) and are familiar with the content.
3. Training in place that re-enforces point 1 and 2.
4. Training conducted on a regular basis (I recommended 12 monthly for all staff and quarterly sessions if you have new staff)
5. A trusted and responsive reporting mechanism for complaints (This means taking action and making sure the staff tasked with managing complaints are trained to do so otherwise you will lose the trust of your employees.)
Also ensure that your training encourages people to report if they are a victim or if they witness sexual harassment. This helps to develop a culture that does not tolerate sexual harassment in the workplace.
6 . A professional and timely investigation process to address not only complaints but also if there is an awareness of issues even suspicions. Better to be safe than sorry.
Not all sexual harassment incidents are reported. Sometimes due to lack or understanding, embarrassment or fear. Remember, sexual harassment in the workplace destroys lives and businesses.
I can provided a number of sexual harassment training courses, please contact me for details or go to www.awpti.com.au
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