Just a bit of banter…? Just where is the line you can’t step over? A major report shines a spotlight on sexual harassment at work and illustrates where the lines are that can’t be crossed.
The report was carried out by the TUC in collaboration with the Everyday Sexism Project. In his foreword to the report, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady put the issue in context when he said; “How many times have we heard sexual harassment in the workplace dismissed as “just a bit of banter”? It may seem like a joke or even a compliment to those who have never experienced it – but those who have will know just how undermining, humiliating and sometimes terrifying it can be.”
- The key findings of the report showed that: more than half (fifty two per cent) of all women polled have experienced some form of sexual harassment.
- Thirty-five per cent of women have heard comments of a sexual nature being made about other women in the workplace.
- Thirty-two per cent of women have been subject to unwelcome jokes of a sexual nature.
- Twenty-eight per cent of women have been subject to comments of a sexual nature about their body or clothes.
- One fifth of women have experienced unwanted sexual advances.
- More than one in ten women reported experiencing unwanted sexual touching or attempts to kiss them.
- Those of us who employ domestic/household staff often have a close working relationship with staff. We must always remember to stay the right side of the line.
So what does all this have to do with me, you might ask? Well, it illustrates just how easy it is to cross over the line without really thinking about it. Today such errors can be costly if the employee decides to take legal action.