ACTU seeks Fair Work Commission control over workplace harassment
An ACTU survey finds 60 per cent of Australian women have experienced sexual harassment at work.
In the survey, a total of 3,612 respondents (60 per cent) reported experiencing sexual harassment at work.
The most common forms were crude or offensive behaviour – experienced by 69 per cent of people who reported sexual harassment; unwanted sexual attention (46 per cent) and inappropriate physical contact of a sexual nature (34 per cent).
The survey found that 64 per cent of people had witnessed sexual harassment at work.
Two thirds of those who had witnessed sexual harassment in their workplace did not make a formal complaint and 40 per cent did not tell anyone at all. More than half said they feared negative consequences if they spoke up.
The President of the ACTU, Michele O’Neil, said: “Everyone should go to work free from the fear of harassment and unwanted sexual attention.
“For many people – mainly women – today in Australia, this is not the reality. Our workplace laws have failed women who are experiencing harassment at work.”
The ACTU’s Change the Rules campaign calls for the Fair Work Commission to have jurisdiction over sexual harassment, which currently requires litigation in courts.
“Sexual harassment is a workplace issue and people who experience it should be able to take it up through the workplace umpire,” said Michele O’Neil.