Members receive further protections in the workplace.
At a recent Public Sector Industrial Relations consultative forum, the PSA CPSU NSW viewed a presentation from the Public Service Commission on the development of a model Sexual Harassment Policy for the sector.
The policy has been developed by the State Government after the People Matter survey results indicated significant numbers of respondents reporting an experience of sexual harassment in the workplace.
Many respondents were reluctant to report harassment as they felt there would be a lack of action if they made a formal complaint and there would be negative consequences in the workplace. They also felt unsure if their confidentiality would be protected.
“The policy has been sent to unions as a draft with the opportunity to provide feedback,” said PSA CPSU NSW Women’s Industrial Officer Simone Scalmer. “At first glance, there are concerns with the policy in that some of the language is not in line with a trauma-informed response, and that more needs to be done to look at workplace training and how to safely manage risk in the workplace.
“There also need to be steps to address the duty of agencies to work on eliminating the risk of sexual harassment.”
Accompanying the policy is a Commissioner Direction that each agency develops its own policy that draws on the sector-wide policy and has provisions that are above the minimum standards set out in the direction.
The deadline for development of these policies is 1 March 2024.