The CPSU recently wrote to all members to invite you to participate in the union’s survey on sexual harassment in our workplaces.

Over a period of four weeks the union received 3,280 responses from across public sector and private sector workplaces, including the APS, ACT and NT public sectors, CSIRO, ABC, Telstra and Australia Post. We asked workers about their experience of workplace sexual harassment and of their concerns regarding existing workplace arrangements including policies, training, reporting, communication, leadership and culture.

Sexual harassment is evident in public sector and private sector workplaces.

The CPSU survey  reveals:

  • 16 per cent of respondents have experienced and 19 per cent of respondents have witnessed workplace sexual harassment.
  • 18 per cent of female respondents and 11 per cent of male respondents experienced sexual harassment in their current workplace.
  • 20 per cent of female respondents and 16 per cent of male respondents witnessed sexual harassment in their current workplace.
  • Only one in three incidents of workplace sexual harassment have been reported.

Download a copy of the CPSU’s full report, ‘Ensuring safe and Respectful Workplaces: Report on Workplace Sexual Harassment’  

Sexual harassment in the workplace is preventable

While there are workplaces with effective communications, policies, processes, training and supports led by an active and engaged leadership, it would appear these workplaces are in the minority.

This is also reflected in the Australian Human Rights Commission’s (AHRC) [email protected] Inquiry which found current workplace approaches to preventing and responding to sexual harassment are inadequate, calling for workplaces to adopt a more holistic approach that looks beyond policies, training and procedures.

Based on the AHRC’s recommendations, the CPSU has developed a ‘Framework for ensuring safe and respectful workplaces’  for implementation in workplaces.

Download a copy of the CPSU’s ‘Framework for Ensuring Safe and Respectful Workplaces’  

There is more to be done - by working together we can make the prevention of sexual harassment a workplace priority. Together, employers with workers, delegates, HSRs and union members can address this important issue.