News, Sexual Harassment


Last year the Australian Human Rights Commission conducted the 5th national survey which addressed sexual harassment in the workplace, investigating forms of sexual harassment, industries, impact and reporting. It was the first survey that asked workers their views on the actions taken by their employers in preventing and responding to incidents of sexual harassment at work.

Over 10, 000 people aged 15 years and over participated in the survey, offering crucial data and statistics on workplace sexual harassment. Shockingly 77% of Australians and 89% of women have been victims of sexual harassment at some point in their lives.

The key findings are that sexual harassment is still unacceptably occurring in the workplace with 1 in 3 workers experiencing it in the last 5 years and most of the ‘’harassers’’ are men with 77% of victims being harassed by male colleagues. Less than 1 in 5 people made a formal report or complaint and 2 in 5 of those who did report it said that no changes occurred or action taken, leaving only a third of Australian workers with the opinion that their employers are doing enough to prevent and respond to workplace sexual harassment.

Sadly 42% of people didn’t report incidents because they thought they weren’t serious enough, 38% thought it easier to keep quiet and 28% thought nothing would be done. Looking at the policies, information, support and training area it was reported 65% of workers agreed that their organisation has a sexual harassment policy in place, 51% said their work provided information on how to make a report or complaint and 44% said their employer provided wellbeing support after ta complaint or report was made.

The 5 industries that had a higher rate of sexual harassment incidents are Information, Media and Telecommunications, Arts and Recreation Services, Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services, Retail Trade and Accommodation and Food Services.

The survey’s findings along with the Respect@work Report and its 55 recommendations reinforce the need for every workplace to be proactively taking measures in creating a safe and inclusive environment, educating and implementing prevention and response strategies.

If you have experienced any form of bullying or sexual harassment in the workplace give us a call today on 08 9301 0850