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All talk and no action - why most harassment policies fail

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HC Online | 24 Feb 2011, 12:00 AM Agree 0
While most companies agree they need a firm policy, and the HR department provides a policy, communicating the existence of the policey and implementing the policy often falls short. Harriet Stacey looks at the repercussions
  • Bernie Althofer - Author - Resolving Workplace Bul | 24 Feb 2011, 03:31 PM Agree 0
    Many organisations have taken some very proactive measures by creating a network of support personnel - sexual harassment or harassment referral officers etc. However, in some cases there may be a mistaken belief that the primary role of these support personnel is to ''fix'' the problem. They do play a critical role in supporting victims, alleged harassers and managers/supervisors in a support and educative role. However, unless everyone else clearly understands this role, it becomes very easy to pass the buck when an issue is identified in the workplace. In other cases, some organisations may not have systems or processes in place to ensure that recent Court, Commission or Tribunal findings are captured and policies changed if necessary. I recently reviewed a document where it was openly stated that ''if the group is happy for sexually harassing type jokes to be told, then it was OK (or words to that effect). Given that some decisions have apparently indicated that intent and motive are out the door, this is one case where the training package and perhaps even the advice being provided to employees will only lead to one sure result, and that probably won''t be good the organisation or the individual.
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