TWO YEARS SINCE #METOO WENT GLOBAL THE END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN COALITION (EVAW) & TIME’S UP UK JOIN FORCES TO CALL FOR A LEGAL DUTY ON EMPLOYERS TO PREVENT SEXUAL HARASSMENT
On the day (2nd October) the Government Consultation into sexual harassment in the workplace closes the acclaimed British actor, producer and TIME’S UP UK Ambassador Andrea Riseborough urges people to act with her and respond to the consultation before the deadline hits. She wants no individual to have to say #MeToo again.
Two years since #MeToo became a global phenomenon (1) the actor adds her voice to End Violence Against Women Coalition and TIMES UP UK who have joined forces in calling for a raft of improvements in the way sexual harassment in the workplace is both prevented and responded to. (2)
In response to the Government Equalities Office consultation the campaign groups are demanding a legal duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment, and greater protections in place for third party harassment, as well as an increase in the time limitation within which victims of sexual harassment can bring a claim against their employer to 12 months. (3)
Acclaimed British actor, producer and TIME’S UP UK Ambassador, Andrea Riseborough, says:
“According to the TUC, 62% of women, 68% of LGBTQ+ workers and 20% of men experience sexual harassment at work. 12% of LGBTQ+ women have reported being sexually assaulted or raped at work. (4) TIME’S UP was established to help to ensure no individual of any origin, age or gender identity has to say #MeToo again.”
“Current UK law dictates it is the victim’s responsibility to report harassment and put forward a case. Due to pressure from TIME’S UP, The Fawcett Society, End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW), and other activists, the Government has opened a consultation to gather views from the public on whether the law should be changed so that employers do have responsibility to put in place measures such as an effective policy, training, or collecting data – that could prevent harassment from happening in the first place and means they will be accountable to regulators and face penalties if they don’t; which might make workplaces safer.
Andrea then directs people to the link so they can add their voices to the call for improvements and share, if they wish, their own experiences of sexual harassment in the workplace. She also alerts them to the #ThisIsNotWorking petition.
“If you’d like to contribute to the conversation you can complete the government questionnaire, here is the link: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-sexual-harassment-in-the-workplace
“Also, if you support it, you might like to add your name to this TUC petition, here https://www.megaphone.org.uk/petitions/uk-gov-act-to-prevent-sexual-harassment-at-work?source=TUCsite
Evidence has shown that workplace sexual harassment is widespread, particularly affecting those in marginalised communities. TUC research showed that over 1 in 2 women and nearly 7 out of 10 LGBT workers are sexually harassed in the workplace (5) and research has shown sexual harassment is also prevalent for migrant women in the workplace. (6)
Dame Heather Rabbatts, Chair of the TIME’S UP UK board says:
“When the outpouring of #MeToo stories began in 2017, the true extent of sexual harassment and violence against women came ever more into focus. The wave of disclosures that swept across the country, through industry after industry shone a powerful light on experiences that have too long been marginalised and ignored. Critically, research shows that the situation is more prevalent for minority groups including women of colour and those in the LGBT community.
“TIME’S UP believes that it is essential to introduce a preventative duty on employers to ensure that workplace protections for employees are in place and they should be held accountable if they don’t. We also think it’s critical that the duty should extend to cover freelancers who make up such a large proportion of our UK workforce (15%)”
Rebecca Hitchen, Campaigns Manager at the End Violence Against Women Coalition says:
“The #MeToo movement may have given women a platform to name and speak out about the harassment and abuse they have been subjected to, but we haven’t seen nearly enough meaningful commitment to prevent sexual harassment before it happens, nor have we seen enough investment into support.
“We want to ensure that any measures put in place as a result of this consultation can protect ALL women in employment and ensure there is effective enforcement and oversight.
EVAW & TIME’S UP UK full response to the consultation will be made available here:
(1) The #MeToo movement was originally started by Tarana Burke in 2006
(2)Government Equalities Office Consultation into Sexual Harassment in the workplace https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-sexual-harassment-in-the-workplace Deadline 11.59 PM on 2nd October
(3) Full EVAW & Times Up UK response to sexual harassment consultation to be hosted here: www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk/evaw-times-up-uk-respond-to-sexual-harassment-consultation/ and available on request