STUC Women’s Committee releases shocking new data on sexual harassment at work

March 7th 2022

STUC Women’s Committee releases shocking new data on sexual harassment at work

March 7th 2022

On the eve of International Women’s Day, the STUC has revealed survey data exposing widespread sexual harassment in the workplace, the systemic under-reporting of sexual harassment by victims and the risks to women travelling to and from work.

o 45% of women have experienced sexual harassment at work.

o 1/3 of women have experienced sexual harassment at work within the last year

o 85% of women said that their report and experience was not taken seriously and dealt with appropriately.

o 61% of respondents have experienced sexual harassment in public and on their way to work.

STUC Women’s Committee Chair Fiona Steele said:

“This report should make uncomfortable reading for employers. Our findings show women often don’t report sexual harassment as they know complaints are mishandled, no action will be taken or don’t even think their bosses will believe them. Having a safe workplace isn’t just about accidents and risks, it means protecting women from harassment and making sure they have dignity and respect at work.”

The report calls for actions by employers and by all levels of government.

STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer said:

“We need a complete change of approach to the responsibility of employers to prevent sexual harassment, including where the travel to work is precarious. There is much more government can do, here Scotland and across the UK, to increase the rights of women to protection.”

Among other things the report calls for:

• All businesses operating in Scotland to require recording and reporting of incidents of sexual harassment

• Implementation without further delay of the UK Governments' commitment to introducing a new duty on employers to take all reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment.

• Immediate delivery without further delay on its commitment to re-introduce protection against third-party harassment in the UK and without the three strikes test.

• Extension of the time limits for individuals to bring claims to an employment tribunal from three months to a year (at a minimum).

• Creation of an Equality Court in Scotland.

• Legislation that would make public sexual harassment a crime in Scotland. ENDS

Full findings and recommendations in attached report