CWU Response to Government on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
The CWU has made the attached response to the Government Equalities Office consultation on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.
Sexual harassment at work is a persistent and widespread problem, as evidenced by surveys and polls conducted by trade unions and women’s organisations and reported on previously in LTBs 634/17 and 391/2019.
The CWU’s submission supports the Government’s proposal to introduce a new preventative duty that requires employers to protect workers from sexual harassment in the workplace. We also support the proposal for a new Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) code of practice to underpin the duty. The submission calls for new powers for the EHRC to take enforcement action against companies that breach the duty, including the power to issue and enforce substantial fines.
The submission also expresses support for the TUC’s ‘#ThisIsNotWorking’ campaign and its call for a new, easily enforceable legal duty that would require employers to take all reasonable steps to protect workers from sexual harassment and victimisation. The CWU has joined the TUC’s ‘#ThisIsNotWorking’ alliance, which was launched earlier this year, along with nearly 40 other organisations including trade unions, charities and women’s rights organisations.
Head of Research