Men as well as women are victims of sexual harassment and the problem is no laughing matter, warns a leading business director.
Peter-Jon Chalmers, director of Empire HR made the comments in light of the Fair Treatment at Work survey by the Department for Trade and Industry which found that the incidence of sexual harassment was nine in every thousand employees and whilst more women (1.1 per cent) reported sexual harassment than men (0.7 per cent), men account for two-fifths of reported incidents.
Chalmers said: “Sexual harassment is a serious issue whether the person affected by it is male or female. Although sexual harassment against men is not as common as against women this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t take place.”
It is not enough just to have a harassment policy in place, warns Chalmers: “Employers should not only ensure that their harassment policy is clear but that it is communicated to all staff and that everyone understands their responsibilities under the policy. Training should be given to those with specific responsibilities.”
And says Chalmers a male claim of sexual harassment should not be treated any differently to one made by a female: “Any claim of sexual harassment, whether it is made by a man or a woman and against a man or a woman, has to be taken seriously and employers should react appropriately if a claim of sexual harassment is made.”