Report reveals rise in sexual harassment – support pack for businessesAuthor : Sarah Wood (Special Counsel)

Employment Practices Liability

Last week, The Australian Human Rights Commission released its fourth survey on the prevalence, nature and reporting of sexual harassment in Australian workplaces and the community.

The results were not good, with one in three of the 10,000 Australians surveyed saying they had been sexually harassed at work. New data from the AHRC also shows claims are up by 19% from last year. With the Weinstein/#MeToo effect only coming into effect half way through at the end of last year we expect to see this figure increase over the next 12 months.

Summary of report findings

The report contains the most comprehensive national data on sexual harassment available. Key findings reveal:

  • 71% of Australians have been sexually harassed at some point in their lives, with most of those being women (85%).
  • In the last five years, two in five women and a quarter of men have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • In the last 12 months, 23% of women have experienced some form of workplace sexual harassment compared with 16% of men.
  • The industries with the highest rates of workplace sexual harassment were information, media and telecommunications, arts and recreation services, electricity, gas, water and waste services, and retail trade.
  • The most common forms of sexual harassment experienced were offensive sexually suggestive comments or jokes, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome touching, hugging, cornering or kissing.

The full report can be accessed here.

For further information about how to avoid and manage the risk of sexual harassment in the workplace please contact Sarah Wood at Wotton + Kearney.

20/09/2018