Local MP calls on government to tackle sexual harassment at work

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13 Feb 2020
Margaret Greenwood MP is calling on the government to take immediate action to end sexual harassment in the workplace.

It has been 10 years since the Equality Act came into law, but research by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) shows that half of all women and two thirds of LGBT+ workers have been sexually harassed at work.

The existing laws rely on individuals reporting sexual harassment. However, the TUC has found that four out of five people still don’t feel able to tell their employer about it.

There is currently no legal duty on employers to take proactive action to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

The government has proposed a new Employment Bill and Margaret Greenwood is pressing the government to make sure that the Bill includes:

compulsory guidance to explain exactly what employers need to do to prevent harassment – things like mandatory training

the ability to report anonymously to the regulator, bypassing toxic workplace environments that leave victims unable to speak out

consequences for employers who don’t comply with the measures, making sure the onus lies with employers and not with the victim

Anyone who would like to sign a TUC petition calling on the government to take immediate action to end sexual harassment at work can do so via the following link: https://tinyurl.com/qrjt2ng

Margaret Greenwood MP said:

“Everyone has the right to feel safe at work, but unfortunately research shows that sexual harassment in the workplace affects millions of people across the country.

“The government must do all it can to combat sexual harassment at work, and together with Labour colleagues I will pushing to ensure that the new Employment Bill includes a new, easily enforceable legal duty requiring employers to take all reasonable steps to protect workers from sexual harassment and victimisation.”

This week also marks the TUC’s ‘Heart Unions’ week (10-16 February) – a week of activity throughout England and Wales that highlights the good work that unions do every day to offer everyone a voice at work. It’s a chance to tell the story about why unions are vital for everyone at work and to encourage people who aren't yet in a union to join one.

Margaret Greenwood MP added:

“I am pleased to be able to celebrate Heart Unions week this year.

“Unions play a vital role in making sure people are treated fairly at work and they can often provide free legal advice to members who need it.

“Anyone from care workers to lorry drivers can join a union. You can visit the TUC’s website at www.tuc.org.uk or call 020 7636 4030 for more information.”

ENDS

Photo shows Margaret Greenwood MP with Labour’s Shadow Employment Rights Secretary, Rachael Maskell, at an event in Parliament marking Heart Unions week

For more information, please contact the office of Margaret Greenwood MP on 0207 219 6827

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