Summary publication

Commissioner's foreword

The ability to work in a safe environment, free from sexual assault or harassment, is a basic human right.

In recent months, many women and men have come forward publicly to tell their stories of sexual harassment in the workplace, shining a light on this issue both in Australia, and around the world.

These personal accounts have made clear the devastating impact sexual harassment can have on individuals’ lives, as well as the significant costs to business and the community.

This spotlight on sexual harassment has turned the tide and created a clear and unprecedented appetite for change. Therefore, in June 2018 I announced a National Inquiry into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces (National Inquiry).

The National Inquiry will consider the impact of workplace sexual harassment, the drivers of these behaviours, existing good practices being undertaken by employers and the adequacy of the existing legal framework.

Over the next 12 months, the Commission will be conducting public community consultations in all Australian capital cities and a number of regional cities.

The Commission will be speaking to a range of individuals, industry groups, unions and community organisations.

The Commission will also undertake research and will collect information through written submissions, to develop concrete, practical strategies to prevent and better respond to workplace sexual harassment. This is why we need your input.

This toolkit has been designed to enable you to have your say and prepare a submission to the National Inquiry together with your colleagues or community in the form of a facilitated conversation.

Engaging in an open and respectful conversation about sexual harassment in the workplace is the first step to changing the culture of Australian workplaces. I encourage you to be part of that change.

Kate Jenkins
Sex Discrimination Commissioner
October 2018