End sexual harassment at work

Sexual harassment can damage your business’s reputation, harm your employees’ well-being and lead to expensive litigation.

How can you stop it?

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published a helpful checklist and action plan. It was developed for the hospitality industry, but you can adapt it for your workplace.

What does it say?

Here are ten points to take away:

Changing the working environment

1 During meetings, reiterate that your business does not tolerate sexual harassment.

2 Survey employees about whether they ever feel vulnerable at work and rectify it. For example, by making sure people are not working alone, reviewing working patterns and lighting.

3 Ensure that if employees have an issue, they can go to more than one trusted person, besides their line manager.

Working practices

4 Make sure that those managing employees know what to do if someone reports sexual harassment to them.

5 Allow employees to report anonymously.

6 If you do not have an anonymous reporting line, consider using an external whistleblowing service provider.

7 Have a set policy or process for what to do if a customer or client harasses an employee

8 Train your people to intervene safely if they witness sexual harassment.

9 Review your written agreements with agencies that explain what to do if their staff are sexually harassed. Speak to agency staff before and after a shift to make sure that they know how to report any incidents.

Communicating with staff

10 Sexual harassment can take place in person, through social media, messaging tools or email. Put posters or notices where customers or clients can see them. Make sure that they know your business will not tolerate sexual harassment.