Workplace harassment continues to impact employees in Australia
One third of workers in Australia have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace over the last five years, and only 18% of such incidents were reported, a national survey by the Australian Human Rights Commission has found,
Just half of respondents said their employers provided information on how to report an incident, and only two in five had attended training on prevention and detection as sexual harassment remain unchanged from the last time a similar survey was conducted,
Kate Jenkins, Sex Discrimination Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission, said, “Though disappointing, it is not surprising that these results are similar to the previous survey’s results because most of the recommendations from the Respect@Work report have only recently been acted on, and some are still being implemented.”
Last month, Australia’s Parliament passed new legislation to bring into place seven of the recommendations from the Respect@Work report, which includes prevention measures, complaint mechanisms, ways to monitor for breaches and enforce the laws, and legislation to mandate employers maintain workplace policies against violence and harassment.
Jenkins urged employees to continue implementing change to address sexual harassment, which negatively impacts employees’ mental health, leading to decreased job satisfaction and reduced self-esteem and confidence.