Safework NSW Respect at Work strategy - Public Service Association

Safework NSW Respect at Work strategy

SafeWork NSW has launched a new four-year Strategy to help workplaces prevent sexual harassment as a WHS issue. In the past 12 months, almost 1 in 5 Australian workers reported experiencing sexual harassment at work. It is a WHS issue and it’s preventable.

The strategy has been developed by the Respect at Work directorate which was formed in response to the Australian Human Rights Commission 2020 Respect@Work report on the high rates of sexual harassment across Australian workplaces.

This report called for a need to raise awareness that sexual harassment is a WHS (work health and safety) issue, and for a shift from the current reactive model to a proactive approach where employers must take actions to prevent sexual harassment before it occurs.

Visit SafeWork NSW to access a wide range of advice and resources to help create a safer and more respectful workplace:

You can also access an information pack here which has information about the strategy, support services and how to contact the Respect at Work team at SafeWork.

The PSA welcomes the development of this strategy and expects all Managers to take steps to ensure they provide a safe working environment for their employees free from sexual harassment. We have been calling for a new approach for some time, and our demands formed part of the Workplace Sexual Harassment Charter developed by Women’s Council.

All public sector agencies have been given the deadline of March 2024 earlier this year to ensure their workplace sexual harassment policies were compliant with the model Sexual Harassment Policy published by the Public Service Commission. A Commissioner Direction was issued requiring that each agency develop its own policy that draws on the sector wide policy and has provisions that are above the minimum standards set out in the direction. If your agency does not have an updated policy, you can inform your union who will raise the issue with Department heads.

If you have concerns relating to sexual harassment you should familiarise yourself with the reporting options for NSW workers as well as contact your union who can provide you with advice and support and help you navigate these options.

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