HR tip: Reporting sexual harassment

21st May 2009

These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.


"I have been told that a couple of women in my section are being sexually harassed but are reluctant to report the matter to me, a male, as I will not take them seriously. What should I do?"


First you need to pay more attention to your employees to spot any incidents of sexual harassment or other harassment. Second, you should tell all your employees that harassment of any sort is totally unacceptable and will lead to disciplinary action that could result in summary dismissal. Give them some examples of what constitutes harassment. Third, tell everyone that they should come to you if they are harassed in any way and you will take appropriate action. Assure them that you will try to resolve the problem amicably but that, one way or another, you will look after them. Say also that, while you would rather deal with the matter yourself, if they feel too embarrassed to talk to you, you will arrange for them to see an appropriate female executive. However, by emphasising your concern I guess that they will come to you.

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