New alliance calls on government to make employers prevent sexual harassment
28 June 2019
An alliance of more than 20 unions, charities and women’s rights organisations have launched a petition calling for a new law to make employers prevent sexual harassment in their workplaces.
The TUC has reported that it has launched a joint campaign called ‘This Is Not Working’, with women’s rights organisations and charities calling on the government to introduce a new law to make employers responsible for protecting their staff from sexual harassment at work.
TUC research found that more than half of women – and nearly seven out of ten LGBT people – have experienced sexual harassment at work. However, under current law there is no legal duty on employers to take proactive action to prevent harassment happening in their workplaces. Instead, the onus is on the victim of the sexual harassment to report it to their employer after it has happened.
In May, the government stated in reply to a parliamentary question that they would soon be launching a consultation on workplace sexual harassment, including the possibility of a duty on employers to prevent harassment:
The new duty would be supported by a code of practice, explaining exactly what steps bosses need to take to prevent sexual harassment – such as carrying out mandatory training for staff and managers, and having clear policies.
This simple step would make a huge difference practically, says the alliance. It would mean that the burden of dealing with sexual harassment would be shifted from individuals to employers.
The alliance has launched a petition calling on the government to bring in the new law.