Code of Good Practise on Sexual Harassment
4. Forms of sexual harassment
(1) Sexual harassment may include unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct, but is not limited to the examples listed as follows:
(a) Physical conduct of a sexual nature includes all unwanted physical contact, ranging from touching to sexual assault and rape, and includes a strip search by or in the presence of the opposite sex.
(b) Verbal forms of sexual harassment include unwelcome innuendoes, suggestions and hints, sexual advances, comments with sexual overtones, sex-related jokes or insults or unwelcome graphic comments about a person’s body made in their presence or directed toward them, unwelcome and inappropriate enquiries about a person’s sex life, and unwelcome whistling directed at a person or group of persons.
(c) Non-verbal forms of sexual harassment include unwelcome gestures, indecent exposure, and the unwelcome display of sexually explicit pictures and objects.
(d) Quid pro quo harassment occurs where an owner, employer, supervisor, member of management or co-employee, undertakes or attempts to influence the process of employment, promotion, training, discipline, dismissal, salary increment or other benefit of an employee or job applicant, in exchange for sexual favours.
(2) Sexual favouritism exists where a person who is in a position of authority rewards only those who respond to his/her sexual advances, whilst other deserving employees who do not submit themselves to any sexual advances are denied promotions, merit rating or salary increases.
5. Guiding principles
(1) Employers should create and maintain a working environment in which the dignity of employees is respected. A climate in the workplace should also be created and maintained in which victims of sexual harassment will not feel that their grievances are ignored or trivialised, or fear reprisals. Implementing the following guidelines can assist in achieving these ends:
(a) Employers/management and employees are required to refrain from committing acts of sexual harassment
(b) All employers/management and employees have a role to play in contributing towards creating and maintaining a working environment in which sexual harassment is unacceptable. They should ensure that their standards of conduct do not cause offence and they should discourage unacceptable behaviour on the part of others.
(c) Employers/management should attempt to ensure that persons such as customers, suppliers, job applicants and others who have dealings with the business, are not subjected to sexual harassment by the employer or its employees.
(d) Employers/management are required to take appropriate action in accordance with this code, when instances of sexual harassment which occur within the workplace are brought to their attention.
(2) This code recognises the primacy of collective agreements regulating the handling of sexual harassment cases, and is not intended as a substitute for disciplinary codes and procedures containing such measures, where these are the subject of collective agreements, or the outcome of joint decision making by an employer and a workplace forum. However, collective agreements and policy statements should take cognisance of and be guided by the provisions of this code.