We are working with women's organisations from across the four nations of the UK on a project to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace. This is funded by Rosa through the Time's Up Justice and Equality Fund.

The project aims to equip employers to be more proactive in their efforts towards eradicating sexual harassment. The current approach relies on women reporting experiences that can be incredibly sensitive and traumatic. This puts them in a vulnerable position personally and within their workplaces. 

Our review of the current research identifies five key requirements to create a workplace that does not tolerate sexual harassment: culture, policy, training, reporting mechanisms and the way employers respond to reports. Successful and lasting change requires sustained commitment, and we show how in this report.

In the new year, with our partners, we will publish an employer toolkit building on this insight to continue to support organisations to change. You can sign up to receive the toolkit here

For a list of helplines and specialist support services please click here.

Fawcett's previous work on this issue

In 2018 Fawcett published the Sex Discrimination Law Review, a landmark review assessing whether equality law in the UK is fit for purpose. You can read the report here 

In February 2019, we published our report on Sexual Harassment in Parliament: protecting MPs, peers, volunteers and staff which demonstrated how glaring gaps in Legislation leave Parliament “Above the Law” on sexual harassment.

In June we joined forces with a number of other unions, charities and women’s rights groups as part of the This is Not Working alliance which launched a petition calling for a new law to make lawyers prevent sexual harassment in their workplaces. 

Under current law there is no legal duty on employers to take proactive action to prevent harassment happening in their workplaces. Instead, the onus is on the victim of the sexual harassment to report it to their employer after it has happened.

In October 2019, Fawcett provided a submission to the Government Equalities Office’s consultation on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, calling for a preventative duty on employers to take steps to prevent all forms of discrimination and harassment in their workplaces, and to set out those steps publicly. In the lead-up to this consultation we put out an open call for evidence to hear from individuals who had experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. These responses have helped to shape our submission to this consultation.

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels