Government ‘dodging responsibility’ on sexual harassment at work, MPs say
The Government must stop “dodging responsibility” on workplace sexual harassment, MPs have said.
In a new report, the Women and Equalities Committee said there was “little incentive” for employers to tackle the issue, branding it “utterly shameful” that staff were not better protected.
The MPs recommended tougher rules for firms and regulators, including a new requirement for employers to prevent harassment.
They also called for the collection of “robust” data on the frequency and nature of incidents, and said it should be easier for cases to be taken to tribunal.
In an article for PoliticsHome, committee chair Maria Miller said: “The problem of sexual harassment at work has been ignored by many employers for far too long.”
She added: "We found that the Government, employers and regulators have plainly failed to tackle workplace sexual harassment and have been dodging their responsibilities under UK and international law for too long."
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady welcomed the report and said unions had been “leading the way” on calling for more robust action.
She said: “More than half of women in the UK have been sexually harassed at work.
“Sexual harassment has a huge impact on women’s lives and careers, so it’s good to see the select committee recommending tough action.
“The TUC supports making employers responsible for preventing sexual harassment.
“And it’s good to see the committee recommend long-overdue reforms to the tribunal system so that it works for victims of sexual harassment, and a new code of practice for employers too.”