Sexual harassment is not industry-specific
Harassment happens across industries, locations and at every employee level, as we have seen very clearly throughout the recent allegations within the Federal Government.
There are, however, sexual harassment organisational risk factors that can point to an organisation being high risk.
Statistics show that only 17% of people who had been harassed made a formal complaint. iHR Australia’s Senior Workplace Relations Adviser, Paula Bruce says organisations can take steps to encourage complaints in the workplace.
“Train managers to be good listeners, to listen for understanding. Create a culture of trust and respect. Have models of early intervention in place, ensure employees understand what confidentiality means when raising a complaint and offer training in the models to everyone.”
Organisations can take steps in the immediate term to identify potential harassment. These include:
- Gathering information and understanding the law
- Analysing data and identifying potential problem areas
- Devising a plan of action in conjunction with all stakeholders
- Developing and implementing new policies and procedures
- Investigating allegations of sexual harassment promptly and fairly
- Conducting workplace inquiries and assessments to expose underlying tensions
- Commit to an ongoing obligation to create a safe working environment for everyone
Preparation and education is critical to change
Training is an essential next step protecting your staff, and brand’s reputation. However, training should not be reserved for management only. Programs should be implemented for staff at all levels and training should be ongoing.
iHR Australia offers Workplace Sexual Harassment: Evolving Obligations, a face to face and virtual training program for all staff, also with the option of eLearning.
Plus we can support the planning and refining of your Complaints Handling process with three discreet options:
- Complaints Handling – System Assessment
- Complaints Handling – Consulting Support
- Complaints Handling – Training Solution
Contact us today to ensure your complaints handling process is effective and legally sound.
Also Read: Australia’s complaint handling processes under the microscope