But there is a lot that employers can do beyond responding to complaints.
WHS duties require employers to do everything they reasonably can to prevent sexual harassment from occurring at work, just like other risks to health and safety.
The new Guide: Preventing workplace sexual harassment is the first comprehensive WHS guidance in Australia to focus on preventing sexual harassment. The guidance supports business and organisations to meet their WHS duties with practical steps to identify risks and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
Executive Director SafeWork SA, Martyn Campbell said the new guides, which SafeWork SA collaborated and provide input on, reflect sexual harassment and assault as an emerging work health safety risk.
“There has been a significant increase in discussions with a focus in recognising the responsibility of businesses to protect workers from sexual harassment and assault as an occupational hazard,” he said.
“Sexual harassment and gendered violence can take place in any workplace or industry. We need to take these incidents as seriously as other work health safety risks.
“Managing the risks of sexual harassment and gendered violence should be part of a holistic approach to work health and safety,” said Campbell.