As well as being afraid of complaining, people who are subjected to sexual harassment or unwanted sexual behavior are also afraid of causing a negative impact on their reputation, their career, and their relationships by complaining. Victims and employers are at a disadvantage due to the complexity of the current system for dealing with workplace sexual harassment ACT. As a reactive system, it is complaint-based and places a heavy burden on individuals to file a complaint within a specified timeframe.
Approximately $3.8 billion was lost to the Australian economy as a result of workplace sexual harassment in 2018. The estimated economic cost of workplace sexual harassment amounts to $2.6 billion, with employers and business owners bearing the majority of this cost.
Sexual harassment in the workplace and its effects
There’s no doubt that workplace sexual harassment hurts productivity and health and wellbeing. Here are some other impacts:
- An adverse effect on employment
- Both the individual and the business are affected financially
- A high turnover rate among employees
- A negative impact on the culture of the company
- Negative effects on reputation
- An adverse effect on mental health
The sexual harassment policy acts as a key intervention tool
When it comes to dealing with workplace sexual harassment, a sexual harassment policy can play an important role in intervention and prevention. This policy establishes a zero tolerance policy for any form of sexual harassment, including sexual remarks, sexual jokes, or sexual violence. While some employers prefer to have a comprehensive harassment policy that covers racial harassment, age harassment, and sex harassment, others prefer to have a separate policy that covers each of these issues.
Workplace policies that address sexual harassment may include a number of elements, all of which must adhere to relevant Australian Capital Territory laws:
- It is essential that a clear statement be made that sexual harassment will not be tolerated in any form, from any source, including third parties such as clients or customers
- Establish workplace standards to address behaviour, attitudes, and language that disrespects or excludes people because of their gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or based on stereotypes of dominant genders and socially prescribed gender roles
- Recognise the illegality of sexual harassment and determine what constitutes sexual harassment
- Behaviours that are permitted and prohibited
- Provide guidance on how to use social media and technology in an appropriate manner
- Control measures relevant to your workplace for preventing sexual harassment
- In the event that a policy violation occurs, the consequences will be
- How to handle sexual harassment if you witness it or experience it
- Providing workers with information on how to report sexual harassment
- Investigation processes, including the hiring of external or independent investigators, were in place to deal with a concern
- The provision of support services to all
- Laws of the workplace sexual harassment ACT and the Commonwealth must be followed
It is important that you develop policies regarding sexual harassment in consultation with your employees, their representatives, human resources, and experts. The company’s policies and expectations regarding employee behaviour should be communicated to all employees.
Training and development of workers for workplace sexual harassment policies
It is clear that Sexual harassment prevention training provides an excellent opportunity for all employees to expand their knowledge base, however, many employers find development opportunities to be prohibitively expensive at present. In addition to missing out on work time, employees participating in training sessions are also not able to complete projects on time. Training and development, despite these potential disadvantages, provide both individuals and organisations with benefits that make the investment of time and money well worthwhile. There is no doubt that educating employees about sexual harassment prevention will result in a significant return on investment.
Providing sexual harassment prevention training across the Australian Capital Territory is a key service of WHS and Training Compliance Solutions.
What you should do if your company receives a sexual harassment complaint
There is more to sexual harassment than direct sexual advances. It can also refer to the creation of an environment at work that is inflamed with a sexual nature, which could offend or cause someone to feel insecure or uncomfortable. An example of this would be a display of sexual images or statements that include general sexual remarks, offensive language, implied sexual statements, or inappropriate jokes about sex life, a personal life or sexual behaviour.
Policy and Procedure. If you are a business owner, you may think that you cannot dictate your employees’ remarks or jokes or dictate to your clients how they behave. You can ensure that your employees feel comfortable by ensuring that your company has strict policies and procedures, and training that support a safe, healthy, and happy environment for them.
Reporting. When an employee reports sexual harassment in the workplace to a supervisor and requests protection from this threat, it is referred to as a sexual harassment claim. Whenever an employee feels harassment is occurring, they should feel able to report it without fear of retaliation. It is the employer’s responsibility to handle the matter as quickly and confidentially as possible.
In the event your employees commit acts of sexual harassment, you may be held legally liable. Vicariously liable is the term used to describe this situation. Unless employers have taken all reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment from occurring, they will be liable under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and Discrimination Act (Australian Capital Territory). Employers must take the following two actions:
- Sexual harassment is prohibited in the workplace, and the company has taken steps to address it as effectively as possible.
- As soon as the company becomes aware of sexual harassment in the workplace, it will implement its complaints procedure in order to remedy the situation.
Employees who make allegations of sexual harassment, regardless of whether the alleged harassment occurred at work, should be treated seriously and swiftly investigated.
It builds employer brand and strengthens the skills that each employee needs in Australian Capital Territory when you develop a strong and effective sexual harassment prevention training program. Additionally, sexual harassment prevention training can increase a company’s appeal to potential new recruits who wish to work in an environment that is safe and respectful. The staff will feel challenged and valued by a sexual harassment prevention training program, leading to increased productivity and stronger company loyalty.
Providing effective Workplace sexual harassment prevention training will ensure project success, which will increase the company’s turnover and potential market share. Let WHS and Training Compliance Solutions assist your business. We deliver our training programs onsite, online and elearning platform across Australian Capital Territory.
In order to maintain your company’s competitive edge in Australian Capital Territory, it’s imperative to train both new and experienced employees.
In today’s society, it is important that we are proactive in addressing issues such as workplace sexual harassment. As companies, organisations, and individuals, we must come together and offer programs that educate and prevent occurrences of sexual harassment in the workplace. One way to do this is by implementing training programs that provide a clear understanding of what constitutes as sexual harassment and the consequences for engaging in such behavior. By doing so, we can equip individuals with the knowledge and tools necessary to identify and report incidents of sexual harassment.
Another way to help combat workplace sexual harassment is by advocating for stronger laws and policies. In many countries, there are existing laws such as the Workplace Sexual Harassment ACT that aim to protect employees from harassment in the workplace. However, these laws may not be enough, and we must continue to push for reforms that create a safer work environment for all individuals. By advocating for change, we can ensure that everyone has the right to work without fear of harassment or discrimination.
Ultimately, it is up to all of us to take action and make a difference in our workplaces and communities. Whether it’s through offering training programs or advocating for change, we must come together to address the issue of workplace sexual harassment ACT. By doing so, we can create a safer and more inclusive environment for everyone.
Join the fight against workplace sexual harassment ACT! Get trained with WHS and Training Compliance Solutions Pty Ltd today. Act now!