What would you do in case your worker was concerned in a sexual assault at work?
Think about being contacted by somebody claiming that they had been sexually assaulted by considered one of your workers; and that the assault occurred at an trade awards evening after occasion. A piece occasion the place the alleged attacker was representing you and your organization.
What would you do?
Would you hear them out? Even if you happen to strongly doubted it may very well be considered one of your tribe, would you at the least examine, simply to make certain? Wouldn’t you at the least wish to clear your organization’s title?
Or would you fob them off as one trade chief did after I made that decision?
“It couldn’t probably be anybody right here at X. We love ladies right here at X,” he stated earlier than hanging up, by no means to make contact once more.
Now think about the flip-side situation. You’re approached by considered one of your individual workers who tells you they had been sexually assaulted at an awards evening after occasion, whereas representing your organization. What would you do?
Would you supply to take them to the police? Supply counselling? Ask in the event that they had been OK at the least? And look into your HR duties?
Or would you do what my supervisor did on this scenario, and shift uncomfortably then depart the dialog as rapidly as potential? By no means to carry it up once more.
Our trade is stuffed with small corporations with out HR departments, and sometimes our enterprise house owners and managers will not be skilled in difficult and distressing points similar to sexual assault, harassment and even bullying.
So who’s accountable when one thing like this occurs on the job, whether or not throughout workplace hours or after?
Sam Lavery from Laxon Lex legislation agency knowledgeable me: “Employers in Australia can be legally liable for the office sexual harassment of their workers in accordance with the Intercourse Discrimination Act except they’ve taken all affordable steps to forestall such harassment.
“’Affordable steps’ means having in place acceptable insurance policies concerning acceptable behaviour and consumption of alcohol, making certain workers are conscious of and reminded about such insurance policies previous to occasions, making certain entry to alcohol at occasions is moderated, and making certain that any complaints are correctly investigated and acceptable motion is taken.
“It’s also necessary to notice that office harassment, for the needs of the laws, is just not restricted solely to the workplace, however can lengthen to exterior conferences, trade occasions and work events.”
I used to be sexually assaulted by an trade peer at an trade occasion. My office and the office of my attacker made it clear that they had no intention of supporting me in any approach. I used to be left feeling not solely violated by the assault, however unworthy as an individual and a nuisance in my workplace.
Is your office taking “affordable steps” to guard its workers?
Susie Riddell is a communications and branding specialist, and now the overall supervisor of Agenda Studio
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