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Sexual Harassment 'Positive Duty'

Sexual Harassment 'Positive Duty'

How can you ensure compliance with the new 'positive duty' obligations around sexual harassment and sex-based harassment?


In response to the continual rise of sexual harassment as a 'hot topic' issue in Australian workplaces, and as part of the ongoing response to the Sex Discrimination Commissioners , the Federal Government changed the law in late 2022.

The laws have imposed a new 'positive duty' on all employers.  This requires all employers to take reasonable steps to eliminate sexual harassment and other unlawful behaviour from occurring in the workplace. Responding to complaints when they arise is no longer enough. 

There is no exemption under this law  - not even for small business.  No matter the size of the business, if reasonable steps are not taken to eliminate sexual harassment and sex-based harassment in the workplace, the employer could be held liable and face considerable financial and reputational damage to the business.

New avenues for employees to pursue claims and the Human Rights Commissions powers to actually enforce the new ‘positive duty’ on employers came into effect on 12 December 2023.

Now is the time to conduct a health check in your business, identify risk areas and put in place preventative measures that will reduce the risk of sexual harassment and sex-based harassment in your workplace. 

It doesn't have to be complicated.  Follow our six step guide today and for a small fee you get:

  • 39 page 'How-to Guide' on sexual harassment and sex-based harassment 'positive duty' in the workplace
  • Seven short instructional videos to guide you through the process
  • 15 tools including checklists, templates, processes to follow, draft emails and a policy document to download and use immediately in your business.

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What is considered 'reasonable steps'?

To avoid liability, all employers need to demonstrate they have:

  • taken all reasonable steps to eliminate sexual harassment from occurring in workplaces AND
  • ​responded appropriately to resolve incidents of sexual harassment if they arise.

​What will be considered ‘reasonable’ will of course differ from business to business, depending on things like business size, resources and the cost of taking certain precautionary steps. However, it is abundantly clear that all employers, in all business, no matter the size, need to be taking active steps to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace before it occurs, or risk being held legally responsible for any acts of sexual harassment in the workplace. 

 

An overview of the six steps in the How-To Guide

Not compliant? Get the 'how-to guide' today.

To help guide your business through this process, ҹhas created a toolkit that will walk you through six practical steps you can implement straight away to move towards demonstrating your 'positive duty'.  This toolkit is aimed at the small business operator but should be the minimum a larger business has implemented.  In this toolkit you will have access to:

  • 39 page 'How-to Guide' on sexual harassment and sex-based harassment 'positive duty' in the workplace
  • Seven short instructional videos to guide you through the process
  • 15 tools including checklists, templates, processes to follow, draft emails and a policy document to download and use immediately in your business.

This DIY toolkit will give your business the guidance to work through the reasonable steps required under the new laws. 

Get in touch if you want a quick and easy way to fulfil your positive duty obligations as an employer.  Buy the 'how-to guide' today and you're on your way to fufil your obligations.  Just follow the six steps in the guide.


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