Why eradicating workplace harassment must be a priority

If left unchecked, workplace harassment can negatively impact employees’ mental health and hurt the bottom line of organisations.
By: | December 9, 2022

Workplace harassment remains an issue that needs to be urgently addressed, and is particularly pronounced among young people, migrants, and wage earners, especially women.

According to a survey by the UN International Labour Organisation, the Lloyd’s Register Foundation and Gallup, over 22% of almost 75,000 workers in 121 countries reported having experienced at least one type of violence or harassment.

One-third of people who experienced violence or harassment at work said they had experienced more than one form of abuse, while 6.3% said they had faced all three forms, namely physical, psychological, and sexual violence and harassment during their working life.

17.9% of men and women reported experiencing psychological violence and harassment at some point during their employment, while physical violence and harassment at the workplace were more likely to happen to men than women, with 8.5% of respondents surveyed reporting facing such abuse at the workplace.

Overall, over 60% of victims said that it had happened to them multiple times, and for the majority of them, the last incident took place within the last five years.

READ: Workplace harassment continues to impact employees in Australia

Urging more effective legislation, policies, and practices to promote prevention measures, the report’s authors said, “Violence and harassment in the world of work is a pervasive and harmful phenomenon, with profound and costly effects ranging from severe physical and mental health consequences to lost earnings and destroyed career paths to economic losses for workplaces and societies.”