Harassment & Sexual Harassment – Their Effects on the Workplace

“9% of workers reported being subject to intimidation in the workplace and 2% of respondents reported sexual harassment.”

A survey carried out in 2000 by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions in the 15 member states of the European Union found that 9% of workers reported being subject to intimidation in the workplace and 2% of respondents reported sexual harassment.

It is important to understand that harassment and sexual harassment are relevant to both genders – women and men can be sexually harassed and harassers can be either men or women.  Harassers are not necessarily of the opposite sex – men can sexually harass other men and women can harass other women.

The impact of harassment or sexual harassment on the victim can range from reduced morale through to ill-health – both emotional and physical – and may even result in the employee feeling forced to leave his or her position.  Equally the impact on the organisation is significant; the working environment can become fearful, stressful and intimidating ultimately leading to under-performance, higher employee turnover, greater absenteeism and reduced productivity, all of which have the potential to increase the risk industrial relations issues and litigation.

The team at WorkplaceBullying will help you avoid harassment and sexual harassment in your workplace and address problems in this area should they arise.  Additional information and useful resources can be found under Education and for answers to some common questions on harassment and sexual harassment, click here.