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How would you deal with an allegation of sexual harassment in your business?

The allegations of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behaviour towards women made against Harvey Weinsten recently have made headlines across the Globe. This has opened the floodgates to a deluge of sexual abuse and misconduct claims being made against famous movie stars, television stars and even politicians, with new claims emerging every day.

However sexual harassment is a problem that occurs across all walks of life, industries and sectors. It can happen anywhere and to anyone. Over half of woman and a quarter of men say they have been subjected to some form of sexual misconduct or harassment.

Sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace is likely to remain top of the headlines for some to time to come and, no doubt, there will be various claims to the law courts made against employers who did not do enough to protect their employees.

It is vitally important therefore that ALL employers have in place comprehensive up to date anti-harassment and bullying policies. However is that enough?

Short answer – No!

There also needs to be a process that all employees are aware of, detailing the steps which the employee needs to take if they feel they are being harassed, bullied or victimised at their place of work, and the likely sanctions to be made against anyone found guilty of such conduct.

This might just be the time for all employers to check their Harassment and Grievance Policies, as well as their Disciplinary Policies and ensure that ALL employees are aware of them. No harm can be done by reminding all employees, in light of recent events, of the company’s policies and where they can be found.

If you are unsure if your policies are as up to date as they should be please feel free to get in touch.

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