What do proposed changes to workplace sexual harassment rules mean for employers?

workplace sexual harassment

The recent announcement from the Federal Government stated there will be some fairly significant amendments to the Fair Work Act and the Sex Discrimination Act.

John Boardman, iHR Australia Director Workplace Relations explains how these changes will affect employers.

“The key recommendation is that a framework should be put in place that is evidence based, victim focused and imposes a clear and positive duty for organisations to prevent Sexual Harassment. This will require Employers to take all reasonable steps to ensure that Sexual Harassment does not occur in their workplace.

“The Report emphasises the need to educate all employees. And the critical role leadership and culture play in addressing systemic inappropriate behaviours such as Sexual Harassment. Gender equality imbalances were highlighted as a key contributing factor to Sexual Harassment. It is likely employers will be expected to have strategies and performance indicators in place to measure this,” John says.

John emphasised that these rules have not yet been implemented and nothing is yet set in stone. “The government have announced the recommendations will be adopted, however it’s important to clarify that there are no ‘new rules’ yet.”

Attorney-General Michaelia Cash stated the legislative changes would be introduced into Parliament this year and the goal is to implement them by the end of June.

We will keep you updated as the new rules become clearer.