We have lots of resources available for reps tackling the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace:
People in the workplace are protected from sexual harassment by the Equality Act 2010. The Act defines sexual harassment as unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect of violating someone’s dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.
It doesn’t matter how long you have worked for your employer or whether you are a permanent employee, an apprentice or trainee, on a fixed-term contract or supplied by an agency, you are still protected by this legislation.
How many times have we heard sexual harassment in the workplace dismissed as “just a bit of banter”? It may seem like a joke or even a compliment to those who have never experienced it – but those who have will know just how undermining, humiliating and sometimes terrifying it can be.
While trade unionists have never been in any doubt about the scale of the problem, through having to deal with cases of sexual harassment in the workplace, it’s still something that is the bread and butter work for many union reps.
These types of cases can be very complex and difficult to deal with, and must be approached with sensitivity. If you are in need of support either as a rep dealing with such an issue, or as a complainant URTU is here to help you.
To help you raise awareness and improve your knowledge on this complex issue here are some really useful resources.
- “You’re Not Alone: Speak to Your Union Rep Today” is a new workplace poster to raise awareness of trade unions in addressing sexual harassment the workplace.
- An updated “Know Your Rights” booklet “Protection from Sexual Harassment”. This is a free leaflet to inform workers about their rights when they experience sexual harassment.
- The TUC eNote entitled “Sexual harassment“ gives reps guidance on how they can support their members and address sexual harassment in the workplace.
- TUC report (2016) “Still Just a Bit of Banter?” Shows that over half of those the TUC spoke to have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. This is where you will find the TUC demands that government and employers tackle sexual harassment at work.