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UpdatesSep 20, 2018

This serious problem now affects one in three Australian workers

Roy Morgan Research, on behalf of the Australian Human Rights Commission, recently conducted a national survey to investigate the prevalence, nature and reporting of workplace sexual harassment in Australia.

The results are damning.

Sexual harassment is still a major problem in Australian workplaces.

By Michael Selinger

Roy Morgan Research, on behalf of the Australian Human Rights Commission, recently conducted a national survey to investigate the prevalence, nature and reporting of workplace sexual harassment in Australia.

The results are damning.

Sexual harassment is still a major problem in Australian workplaces.

The findings of the survey, conducted between April and June this year, were released by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins at the National Press Club in Canberra last week.

Important findings included:

The survey also reported on harassment endemic within certain industries. For example, four out of five people working in information, media and telecommunications reported being sexually harassed.

Regrettably, formal reporting of workplace sexual harassment remained low, with only 17% of people in the survey confirming that they had made a report or complaint about the behaviour. And out of those that made a formal report, disappointingly almost half stated that there was no change made by the organisation as a result of the complaint.

The outcome of this survey was the initiative for the Australian Human Rights Commission to launch a national inquiry into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces.

This inquiry, which has received $500,000 in federal funding, will begin public consultations later this month.

The inquiry follows the release of a report last year by the Commission in which a national survey of more than 30,000 university students across all 39 Australian universities found that incidents of sexual assault and sexual harassment are occurring at unacceptable rates.

Do you know your legal obligation to manage workplace sexual harassment?

Your organisation owes a duty of care to ensure that your workers are not exposed to sexual harassment.

As an employer, you must take the following steps:

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