The Victorian Government have introduced new guidelines and support for employers to address the serious issue of work-related gendered violence across our workplaces. Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, employers face serious consequences if they do not provide a safe working environment for employees. Employers also have obligations under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010.
Minister for Workplace Safety Jill Hennessy said,“More than 60 per cent of women in Victoria have experienced some form of gendered violence at work and have felt at risk in their workplaces – we all have a responsibility to do more to address this.”
Work-related gendered violence are behaviours or actions directed toward a person because of their sex, gender or sexual orientation, that creates a risk to health and safety in the workplace. This can include verbal abuse, offensive imagery, exclusion, intimidation, to physical threats and stalking. Parliamentary Secretary for Workplace Safety Natalie Hutchins said, “Every Victorian has the right to go to work and be treated with dignity, respect and fairness whatever their sex, gender or sexual orientation.”
WorkSafe, in consultation with the Victorian Trades Hall Council and other employer and employee representative groups have developed A Guide for employers: Work-related gendered violence including sexual harassment, which can be found at worksafe.vic.gov.au/resources. Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams commented “It’s unacceptable that women still experience violence at work – these guidelines are a welcome step forward in making sure employers are aware of their obligations to keep all employees safe.”
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