26 September 2023

WorkSafe draws line at workplace violence

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New guidelines to prevent and respond to gendered violence and sexual harassment in the workplace have been released by WorkSafe Victoria.

Minister for Workplace Safety, Jill Hennessy said women, members of the LGBTIQA+ community, migrants and persons with a disability were more likely to experience gendered violence and discrimination and the guidance provided information on identifying, preventing and responding to gendered violence in the workplace.

“[Gendered violence] can range from comments and gestures through to sexual assault and rape,” Ms Hennessy said.

“Work-related gendered violence is any behaviour affecting a person because of their sex, gender or sexual orientation, or because they don’t adhere to socially prescribed gender roles, that creates a risk to health and safety.”

She said this included stalking, intimidation or threats; verbal abuse; ostracism or exclusion; offensive language and imagery; put downs, innuendo and insinuations; and someone being undermined in their role.

“Victorian employers face serious consequences under the Occupational Health and Safety Act if they fail to provide a safe working environment,” she said.

Ms Hennessy said WorkSafe had developed A Guide for employers: Work-related gendered violence including sexual harassment in consultation with the Victorian Trades Hall Council and other employer and employee representative groups.

The 21-page guide can be accessed via this PS News link.

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