Australia: Sexual Harrassment: The Results are In
Last Updated: 7 February 2011

By The Workplace Relations, Employment & Safety Team

You may recall that in the final quarter of 2010 DLA Phillips Fox conducted a survey of Australian organisations in relation to their current equal opportunity/diversity policies and procedures. The survey aimed to gain further insight into what organisations are currently doing to protect their employees, their brand and their financial position in the wake of the David Jones case.

The results of the survey have now been published in a landmark report, The Serious Business of Sexual Harassment. The report outlines the key findings of our survey and provides those in human resources, executive management, board, legal and risk management roles with practical advice on strategies for managing diversity issues such as sexual harassment. The report answers critical questions about liability, responsibility, policy and culture in the context of individuals and organisations. It also examines the future of sexual harassment cases in Australia and whether the David Jones case is a sign of things to come.

It's not surprising that sexual harassment issues are on most company agendas. In fact, 40% of survey respondents reported heightened concerns about these issues in their organisations in recent months.

However, our survey shows that increased awareness isn't enough to affect significant cultural change. While the majority of respondents confirmed their organisation has a policy in place that defines behaviour that can be construed as sexual harassment, only half believe the organisation's culture is consistent with its policies. Furthermore, almost one-third are concerned that a section of their workforce has developed a 'rogue culture'.

The message is clear: sexual harassment is serious business. If it's not on your agenda for 2011, it needs to be.

Click here to download your copy of The Serious Business of Sexual Harassment.

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