Sexual harassment cases appear to be on the rise in the workplace, but victim blaming, flawed procedures and a desire for allegations to be “brushed under the carpet” are all contributing to botched investigations.
Now legal experts are warning that a radical change is needed to tackle workplace sexual harassment amid rising concern employers are failing to report the problem.
They believe it’s one of the things that employers seem to find really difficult. Growing numbers of women are coming forward with complaints and a degree of radical thinking is needed to tackle the issue as leaving it to individual employers just isn’t working.
Changes need to be made to the law and stricter regulations put in place for businesses to ensure complainers are treated fairly. When the big employers get it wrong, what chance have smaller firms got of getting it anywhere near correct?
All companies need to do is investigate both sides of the story and make a decision, but the issue that seems to be arising is that many don’t want to make that decision.
Legal Experts have said they would like to see more being done to hold employers and perpetrators to account, including introducing a register of complaints to stop the behaviour being repeated time and again.
They are also calling for changes to the employment tribunal system which would allow victims more time to raise a case.
Currently, workers only have three months from the date of the harassment to lodge a claim; however, employers’ internal investigations often last longer than this, leaving victims with no recourse if they are unhappy with the outcome.
Research by the TUC shows that more than half of women in the UK have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work. Under the Equality Act, employers are liable for this harassment unless they take reasonable steps to prevent it, and firms can be taken to an employment tribunal if they do not.