Almost two-thirds of young women have been sexually harassed at work, says TUC | Sexual harassment #twothirds #young #women #sexually #harassed #work #TUC #Sexual #harassment

Almost two in three young women have experienced sexual harassment, bullying or verbal abuse at work, according to a TUC poll.

However, most victims do not report it for fear of not being believed or of damaging their relationships at work or their career prospects, the TUC said.

Overall, almost three in five women (58%) have experienced harassment at work, the poll showed. The figure rises to 62% of women aged between 25 and 34.

Most of these cases were not isolated incidents, with 57% of women saying they had experienced three or more incidents of bullying at work. More than two in five (43%) had experienced at least three incidents of sexual harassment.

The TUC’s general secretary, Paul Nowak, said: “Every woman should be safe from sexual harassment. But every day we hear stories about the extent of sexual harassment in our workplaces.

“And we know many women in public-facing jobs – like retail workers and GP receptionists – suffer regular abuse from customers and patients. Sexual harassment and bullying have no place in modern workplaces.”

Separate research by the public sector union Unison recently showed that only one NHS trust in England provided dedicated training to prevent sexual harassment, even though one in 12 NHS staff had experienced such behaviour at work in the past year.

Meanwhile, the CBI, the UK’s biggest business lobby group, has been rocked by a series of sexual misconduct allegations reported by the Guardian.

The TUC alleged that some Conservative MPs and peers were trying to sabotage new laws to protect workers from sexual harassment and assault at work.

The worker protection bill, a private member’s bill put forward with ministers’ support by Wera Hobhouse, the Liberal Democrat MP for Bath, would introduce a new preventive duty on employers to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace.

The bill would also protect workers from harassment and abuse by third parties such as customers, clients, patients or members of the public. The TUC said these were two big gaps in the current workplace protections for women.

But it said Tory backbenchers were trying to delay the bill to ensure it does not pass within the parliamentary time available.

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The TUC poll found that in two out of five of the most recent incidents, the perpetrator was a third party rather than another member of staff.

Most incidents of sexual harassment, bullying or verbal abuse happen in work premises (71%), but they also happen over the phone or by text message (12%), or online, by email, on social media or on a virtual meeting (8%).

However, fewer than a third of women who said they experienced sexual harassment at work told their employer about what was happening, and only two in five (44%) of those being bullied, and half (50%) of those suffering verbal abuse, reported it.

Of those who did not report it, some felt they would not be believed or taken seriously (39%), while others thought reporting it would impact negatively on their relationships at work (37%) or on their career prospects (25%).

“Ministers promised to bring in long overdue new laws to prevent workplace sexual harassment and tackle abuse from third parties like customers and clients,” Nowak said. “But they are now backsliding under pressure from their own backbenchers who are trying to delay and derail these vital new protections.

“It will be a disgrace if the government allows this bill to fall. Ministers must urgently ensure this bill passes in full or they will let down working women right across the country.”

#twothirds #young #women #sexually #harassed #work #TUC #Sexual #harassment

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