TO: All staff
Recent allegations highlighted in the media about inappropriate workplace behaviours, sexual harassment and generally poor workplace cultures has caused us to pause and think about how our organisation is positioned to prevent our people from being exposed to these unsafe behaviours.
We cannot assume that our organisation is immune to poor behaviour. Harassment in its many forms, including sexual harassment, can happen to anyone. It’s far more prevalent than some people think.
According to the Australian Human Rights Commission:
- Almost two in five women (39%) and just over one in four men (26%) have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace in the last five years.
- It is more likely to be experienced by younger people (those aged 18-29 years), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people, people living with disability and those in the LGBTIAQ+ community.
- In 2018, more than 1 in 3 people were bystanders to sexual harassment in the workplace, but only one-third took action in response.
(Source: Everyone’s business: Fourth national survey on sexual harassment in Australian workplaces 2018)
Everyone has the right to feel safe at work. We are committed to providing a fair, equitable and respectful work environment that is free from all forms of bullying and harassment. We expect you to respect those who you work with and for you to be respected.
We want to ensure we have a zero-tolerance culture where people feel safe to speak up without fear of retribution.
If you experience harassment, whether it happens to you or you witness it happening to someone else, we want you to feel safe and comfortable to raise these concerns with us. They will be taken seriously, acted upon confidentially, and you will be supported and protected.
Please be assured that we will take a human-centric approach when investigating these matters and that appropriate action will be taken to address the matter.
What to do if you need to report an instance of sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviour at work:
- Report any incidents you experience or witness to your manager or HR. You can also contact our external whistleblower service [add details of this service here].
- If you’re reporting a personal incident, understand that while sooner is better in terms of investigating the matter, you can come forward at any time you feel comfortable.
- Refer to our Grievance Resolution Standard. [Insert name of your organisation’s policy/standard and link through to it].
- Utilise our company employee assistance program for follow up support. [Share contact details for EAP]. The information you share in these sessions will remain confidential.
Our policies and standards relating to the workplace behaviours we hold ourselves accountable to are available for review here [Add link].
We will also be taking the time to review our policies and standards to ensure they remain current and reflect the environment we want to create. We will also roll out training on this important matter because respect at work is everyone’s business.
We expect you to think about how your conduct impacts others. All managers will be speaking with their teams in the week ahead to emphasise that we do not tolerate disrespectful conduct towards our colleagues. I suggest you read through our policies and feel free to ask your managers for clarification on any of the details.
If we are going to succeed in creating safe workplaces where harassment is a thing of the past, we all need to work together and live our commitment to respect each other.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
Chief Executive Officer
If you need support, please contact your EAP any time, or find below additional resources: