The Worker Protection Bill will create a 'preventative duty': a requirement that employers prevent sexual harassment from happening in their workplaces and moves us from a culture of redress to one of prevention.
The MU have been part of the TUC led This Is Not Working Alliance, lobbying and campaigning for the worker protection bill to become law.
Over 85% of our members who experienced sexual harassment did not report it
Everybody deserves to feel safe at work the harsh reality is that too many women don't because workplace cultures allow sexual harassment to thrive.
The MU’s 2019 research, For the Love of Music, revealed that:
- 48% of respondents had experienced sexual harassment.
- Over 85% of members who experienced sexual harassment did not report it.
- Over half (56%) of these members cited workplace culture as a barrier to reporting.
- 40% of these members said that fear of losing work was the reason they didn’t report their experience.
The new law means clear policies, training, and proper, impartial investigations into reported harassment. The Equalities and Human Rights Commission will be able to take enforcement action against firms that breach this duty, and employers will also be liable to individuals as part of wider sexual harassment claims at an employment tribunal.
The MU will continue to lobby government on this issue
Whilst the passing of the bill is fantastic news, the Government failed to introduce “third party protections” in addition to the preventive duty. Third party protections create a similar onus on employers to protect their staff from harassment at the hands of third parties, such as audience members. This is an issue that over 47% of respondents to our research reported.
The MU are extremely disappointed to see the Government miss this opportunity to implement third party protections that would have made this law stronger and created safer, more respectful workplaces not just for women but for everyone.
The MU will continue to lobby the Government on this issue to ensure wherever our members work, they are protected.