The NSW Government has announced the establishment of the NSW Respect at Work Advisory Group, a collaboration of government and non-government leaders to address workplace sexual harassment. The group will be led by SafeWork NSW and will inform the government’s approach to regulating and preventing sexual harassment in every industry.
Workplace sexual harassment is unacceptably common in Australia, affecting a third of Australians according to the Australian Human Rights Commission. It has a profound impact on individuals and undermines workplace productivity. The NSW Government is committed to fostering safer and more respectful workplaces in NSW.
The advisory group will support the implementation of a 4-year strategy launched by SafeWork NSW to stamp out sexual harassment in the workplace. The strategy involves educating NSW businesses on their duties to prevent and respond to workplace sexual harassment before it occurs and take appropriate enforcement action to protect workers. A new, dedicated team focused on addressing gender-based harmful workplace behaviours, the SafeWork NSW Respect at Work Taskforce, will lead the implementation of the strategy.
The advisory group is comprised of representatives from various government agencies, such as the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW, the NSW Women’s Safety Commissioner, and the NSW Public Service Commissioner, as well as non-government organisations, such as Full Stop Australia, Unions NSW, Our Watch, Muslim Women Australia, and Professor Rae Cooper, AO. The advisory group will meet for the first time on Monday 24 October.
The NSW Government has resources for business and workers on how they can help prevent sexual harassment in their workplaces and what they can do if they experience workplace sexual harassment. Minister for Industrial Relations and Work Health and Safety Sophie Cotsis said that she expects the feedback from the experts to help reduce the prevalence of sexual harassment in Australian workplaces.
Minister for Prevention of Domestic Violence and Assault Jodie Harrison said that the establishment of the advisory group is an important step in reducing workplace sexual harassment and making sure people can feel safe at work.
NSW Government establishes Respect at Work Advisory Group by Minister for Women, Minister for Work Health and Safety, 24th October, 2023.