Sexual harassment at work – it’s closer to home than I thought

Sexual harassment at work – in the Commons

On the back of disgraced MP Neil Parish’s behaviour in the Commons, and sleaze allegations made by Tory MPs against Angela Rayner, I’ve been researching sexual harassment, and yesterday presented to the myHRdept team our video guide to help promote awareness and inform victims about what to do. Something happened in the myHRdept meeting which staggered me, and brought home to me the sheer scale of the problem sexual harassment at work is.

YouGov poll suggests 41% have been victims of ‘Cyber Flashing’ – a form of sexual harassment

I asked our 11 female myHRdept staff whether they had received unsolicited nude male photos – A Yougov poll suggested 41% of women between 18 and 36 had done so. Of our staff in the same age group, all of them had received an unsolicited image of male private parts. Then the stories of even more serious sexual harassment came out….one of our team being pinned against a wall by the CEO of an internationally renowned company,  a client of her previous employer.

Another was pursued and physically sexually harassed by a senior older male employee when she was new in her job, her first job after graduation. She ‘didn’t want to make a fuss’ and so said nothing, but eventually a colleague witnessed and reported it. The predatory male was banned from contact with her. Now, she is still very young, so I suspect that male is still working, still presenting a real danger to other females, with the benefit of his employer’s blind eye.

Sexual harassment is rife in the Commons, largely committed by senior males against junior staff, many of whom are too frightened to speak out. But yesterday’s revelations from our own team prove that it’s not just the Commons. It’s everywhere.

Preventing sexual harassment at work

So how should employers make sure that it isn’t happening in our own back yards?  The answer is to raise awareness of sexual harassment and in particular its most common manifestations. At the same time we should encourage employees to report incidents and train managers in how handle both low level and more serious sexual harassment allegations.

Free video to raise awareness of sexual harassment at work

We normally restrict myHRdept training videos to our retained clients. In this case we’ll make an exception, because we’re keen to help all employers stamp out sexual harassment. We’ve made a video to raise awareness of sexual harassment at work, and you can use it for your own employees and managers.  This video carries myHRdept branding, but myHRdept retained customers can request an own branded version of this video (which will take about an hour of support time), non myHRdept customers can receive one for £175+ vat. Contact us (details below) for a copy of the video, or login to your member page if you’re already a retained customer of myHRdept.

HR Support from myHRdept

We’re in our 20th year of providing outsourced HR. As well as assisting our clients in shoring up their compliance (and protecting them from claims) we produce a range of training materials, conduct employee engagement surveys and provide a bank of support hours to assist with managing cases, providing HR administrative support etc.

If you’re thinking of outsourcing your HR or employment law needs, why not contact myHRdept? Call us on 01628 820515, email us at enquiries@myhrdept.co.uk to discuss your requirements, or contact us via our website and we’ll call you back.

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