New WorkSafe Toolkit: Preventing and Responding to Sexual Harassment at Work

Geoff Bevan, Gerrad Brimble

WorkSafe has released a toolkit to help workers and businesses / organisations (known as ‘PCBUs’ under the Health and Safety at Work Act) prevent and respond to sexual harassment in the workplace.

The toolkit includes information for both workers and PCBUs setting out:

The toolkit also includes an example sexual harassment policy and template forms for reporting sexual harassment. These tools are generic in nature and some of the material won’t be appropriate or practical for all organisations and situations, but they are a useful starting point.

Sexual harassment is a health and safety risk which PCBUs are expected to manage, and on occasions WorkSafe does investigate complaints about sexual harassment and bullying.   We will probably see more of this - the Labour led Government has recently signalled to WorkSafe that it needs to pay greater attention to these types of complaints.

Having clear and well implemented sexual harassment and bullying policies is an important first step towards promoting safe and positive workplaces, and meeting health and safety legal requirements.   We have plenty of practical experience in this area, and can help with policies that are straightforward and a good fit for your business.

Equally, if you think you have experienced (or are experiencing) sexual harassment or bullying in the workplace, we’d also encourage you to talk to us about how we may be able to help.