Despite many of us working from home over the past 18 months, sexual harassment at work has increased and taken on new guises. This has been linked to the increased use of messaging apps and video platforms, along with the more casual attitude that comes along with working from home.
Example of new forms of sexual harassment include taking screenshots and sharing them, making inappropriate comments or using suggestive or unprofessional emojis, or even a manager privately messaging employees in a personal capacity.
And while its upsetting for employees, it could also be damaging for business. If a firm stance isn’t taken from the off, it has the potential to cause high staff turnover, with request for settlements or even claims of discrimination or unfair dismissal. The main difference between office-based sexual harassment and this new type of WFH sexual harassment is the opportunity to save evidence.
The Government is aiming to take a hard stance on this, forcing employers t act quickly and to take all reasonable steps to prevent harassment. One of the intentions is to make employers more legally liable if employees are harassed by colleague, or third parties like suppliers or customers. Is it enough?
When did you last review your policy on harassment? Could your team benefit from some training around harassment, diversity, equality and inclusion?
Do you have questions about Sexual Harassment?
Give us a call at CUBE HR, we’ll be happy to advise you and we have policies and templates available to meet every HR need.
Why not check out our other blog on the same topic Equality in the Workplace – 3 Things You Need to Know