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Two-thirds of Women Sexually Harassed at Work

Sexual harassment and bullying have no place in modern workplaces” says TUC General Secretary Paul Nowa after a recent TUC poll revealed that three in five women have experienced sexual harassment, bullying or verbal abuse at work, increasing to nearly two in three for women between the ages of 25 and 34 (62%).

Of the 1,010 working women polled, 43% said that they have suffered a minimum of 3 incidents of sexual harassment, with only 30% reporting the incidents to their employer. The most common reasons given for not reporting harassment or bullying included:

  • Thinking that their employer would not believe the allegations or take them seriously (39%);
  • Concerns it would have a damaging effect on workplace relationships (37%); and
  • Worrying it would harm their career prospects (25%).

The risk of harassment in the workplace extends beyond other members of staff with 39% of complainants claiming that the perpetrator was a third party. Again, this risk increases for women aged 18 to 34 with 52% admitting they had experienced harassment from a third party at work.

The poll shows that employers must be mindful of incidents occurring offsite with 12% of incidents occurring over the phone or text messages and 8% online, by email, on social media or in a virtual meeting.

The poll comes following the TUC’s warning that some Conservative MPs and Lords aim to “sabotage” the new Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill 2022-23 which aims to impose a duty on employers to challenge sexual harassment in the workplace as well as protect workers from harassment and abuse from third parties.