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Workplace Sexual Harassment

New workplace laws came into effect on 6 March 2023 that makes workplace sexual harassment unlawful, with a positive duty on employers to eliminate:

· workplace sexual harassment, sex discrimination and sex-based harassment,

· conduct that amounts to subjecting a person to a hostile workplace environment on the grounds of sex, and

· certain acts of victimisation.

This means that employers can be liable for sexual harassment that arises in connection with work. Like work health safety legislation, employers are required to demonstrate that they took all reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment in connection with work.

Policies and procedures alone do not mitigate this risk, however, when accompanied by a training program, it will assist in demonstrating your commitment to zero tolerance to such behaviour in the workplace.

If you do not have the budget to engage an external trainer, you may wish to consider using the Workplace Sexual Harassment training module from the Fair Work Commission. It is approximately 20-30 minutes long and is appropriate for all employees, irrespective of their position. The training module includes interactive components to embed the knowledge. Certificates of completion are provided to participants who register (or log into) the Fair Work Ombudsman’s portal.

One way you may wish to consider delivering this training is to run an in-house session for all your staff and use this opportunity to discuss the questions and examples.

At the end of the training, and as a team, you may wish to review your policies/procedures to ensure that it meets your business needs. You may find the information on Role of Policy on Workplace Culture useful in assisting with developing your policy/procedures.

If you need further assistance and/or support in to meet your obligations, including training, please contact us at

Information provided in this article is general in nature. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Evelyn Pollard Consulting provides no warranty as to its accuracy, reliability, or completeness. Before taking any course of action as a result of reading this article you are advised to make your own inquiries and seek independent advice (including the appropriate legal advice) on whether the most suitable action for your circumstances.

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