Australia’s complaint handling processes under the microscope

sexual harassment complaint

In March 2020 the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) released findings from their latest inquiry into sexual harassment in the workplace. The survey found that only 17% of people who had been harassed made a formal complaint.

However, iHR Australia’s Investigations department have reported that over 70% of sexual harassment cases that iHR investigates are substantiated.

iHR Australia’s Managing Director, Stephen Bell, says, “In the light of these findings, this suggests to us that people are very cautious about coming forward but when they do come forward, there seems to be more then often, substance to their claim.”

People may not want to report incidents due to fear of being alienated at work, not being believed or risk being fired.

The recent sexual assault allegations by federal government staffers have highlighted the urgent need for every organisation in Australia to ensure they have an effective approach to handling complaints of inappropriate and unlawful workplace behaviour.

Stephen says,” Without effective systems and processes organisations can be deeply exposed legally and also from brand perspective. There has never been a time that is more important for organisations to have their complaints handling processes in a form that is accessible to staff and ensures procedural fairness to all parties involved with the complaint.”

iHR Australia provides three discreet services to provide comprehensive support in this critical area of complaints handling:

  • System Assessment
  • Consulting Support
  • Complaints Handling Training

Contact us today to ensure your complaints handling process is effective and legally sound.

Learn more about Complaints Handling

References: Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report (2020)