New taskforce to improve safety at work for women

 

EMPLOYERS across the state will be supported to stop sexual harassment in the workplace, following the launch of a Respect at Work Taskforce.

Women in politics in particular have been highlighted as those at risk.

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Recently the Liberal candidate for Paterson, Brooke Vitnell, endured a horrendous attack during her campaign for the seat which she conceded to incumbent Meryl Swanson.

She is just one woman that has experienced sexual harrassment locally and while not an employee at the time, she has spoken out against the sexual harrassment of women.

Treasurer Matt Kean said the taskforce will receive $4.8 million in the 2022-23 NSW Budget to deliver on the Kate Jenkins’ Respect at Work Report by ensuring employers comply with their duty under Work Health and Safety laws to prevent sexual harassment at work.

“Sexual harassment has no place in our society.

“It is unacceptable, and it also holds women back from realising their career hopes and aspirations,” Mr Kean said.

“Four in ten women have been sexually harassed at work in the past five years, a shocking culture that workplaces need to take proactive action to end.”

Minister for Fair Trading Eleni Petinos said the SafeWork NSW taskforce will provide employers with best-practice guidance on ways to provide workplaces that are free from sexual harassment.

“Sexual harassment should not be tolerated in our communities, let alone in our workplaces.

“Everyone has the right to a safe workplace, which is why this taskforce will hold employers accountable for delivering respectful and supportive work environments for women,” Ms Petinos said.

“The taskforce will be focused on educating businesses and raising awareness to support employers in preventing sexual harassment in their workplace.”

Minister for Women’s Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said the taskforce is an important step in preventing harassment against women at work.

“The taskforce will monitor and work with employers across the State to ensure that they are complying with their responsibilities to keep their female employees safe.

“Safety for women at work is every employer’s responsibility.

“This taskforce will ensure this responsibility is front of mind,” Mrs Ward said.

By Marian SAMPSON

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