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Four steps to develop a sexual harassment policy statement

by , 04 July 2013
Sexual harassment is unwanted conduct of a sexual nature. Any workplace behaviour that has a sexual connotation (implied or explicit) and which isn't wanted can constitute sexual harassment. That's why your company must have a sexual harassment policy in place and all your employees need to know and understand the policy and its consequences. Follow these four steps to develop an effective sexual harassment policy statement in your workplace.

According to the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management, as an employer, you need to take decisive action when dealing with sexual harassment cases in the workplace.

And that's why you need to have a clear sexual harassment policy statement that specifies that 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 must refrain from committing acts of sexual harassment.

Here's who to set one up…

Establish an effective sexual harassment policy statement using these four steps

Step #1: Your company must issue a policy statement which should provide that:

  • All employees, job applicants and other persons who have dealings with your business have the right to be treated with dignity;
  • Sexual harassment in the workplace won't be permitted or condoned; and
  • Persons who've been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace have a right to raise a grievance about it. And should sexual harassment occur, your company will take action.

Step #2: Place management under a positive duty to implement the policy and take disciplinary action against employees who don't comply with the policy.

Step #3: A policy on sexual harassment should explain the procedure that employees who are victims of sexual harassment should follow. This policy should state:

  • Allegations of sexual harassment will be dealt with seriously, expeditiously, sensitively and confidentially;
  • Employees will be protected against victimisation, retaliation for lodging grievances and from false accusations.

Step #4: Communicate policy statements on sexual harassment widely and effectively to all employees.

Using these steps will help your company develop a sexual harassment policy statement that's effective and condones sexual harassment in the strongest terms.

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