In our latest HR Breakfast Club webinar, guest speaker Kieran Pender from the International Bar Association (IBA) spoke about recent developments in the workplace sexual harassment context.
Kieran began by setting out the legal framework in Australia and outlined the evolution of employer liability for workplace harassment. He then highlighted several recent developments, notably several high profile cases (including those involving a former High Court judge, and major company AMP), and the Australian Human Rights Commission’s landmark 2020 report Respect@Work.
Kieran highlighted several of the report’s recommendations, which – if implemented – would have an impact on employers. These include the possibility of a positive legislative duty for employers to take steps to prevent sexual harassment, and a ‘stop sexual harassment’ scheme in the Fair Work Commission to mirror its anti-bullying jurisdiction.
He then discussed the IBA’s work to address sexual harassment in the legal profession, including the 2019 report Kieran authored, Us Too? Bullying and Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession.
Kieran concluded by offering some practical suggestions for workplaces to prevent and better respond to incidents of harassment and other inappropriate behaviour. These included:
Contact our Employment Law & Investigations Team for more information.