Complaints procedures needed to stamp out sexual harassment

Ninety per cent of people who claimed successfully for sexual
harassment at employment tribunal had resigned or lost their jobs as a result
of the harassment, according to an EOC report.

The EOC calls on employers to implement and communicate a
complaints procedure to stamp out sexual harassment in the workplace.

In a third of cases the harasser was the director or owner
of the company and a third were the employee’s immediate manager.

Half of the harassment incidents lasted more than two months
and a quarter of cases lasted over a year before the victim made a complaint.

Nearly half of the victims had not made a formal work-based
complaint because they were to embarrassed and felt that there was no one to
complain to.

Jenny Watson, deputy chair of the EOC, said, “Sexual
harassment, far from being ‘just a bit of fun’ as some people try to claim,
makes people’s lives a misery, affecting their confidence, health as well as
performance at work.”

The report looked at 54 employment tribunal decisions over
the past three years.

By Paul Nelson


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