Workplace Report June 2018

Health & safety news

#Metoo finds surveys on sex abuse at work

A shocking picture of sexually inappropriate behaviour and serious sexual assault is painted in two union surveys. 

The GMB general union’s survey found that more than one in 10 school support staff reporting they had experienced sexually inappropriate behaviour from pupils. 

“No one should have to put up with being sexually abused while at work — and that includes our members in schools,” said GMB national officer Karen Leonard. 

Leonard called for schools to have proper policies, guidelines and principles to support staff when these incidents take place with “a zero-tolerance approach — with proper, reliable support systems in place for those who do experience it”.

Meanwhile, 25 people (1% of participants) reported suffering a serious sexual assault at work in a new survey of sexual harassment by professionals’ union Prospect. 

The survey also found “a striking relationship between the incidence of sexual harassment and age, with young workers much more likely to suffer”. 

Almost half (45%) of respondents under the age of 30 had been subjected to some form of sexual harassment, but the survey also found young people were least likely to report sexual harassment at work to their union. 

In response, the union has launched new guidance for its members, A workplace guide to dealing with sexual harassment. The union says this is “just the beginning” and a “clear signal from Prospect that this is a union issue”.