So some thoughts on how you might describe and personally manage any sexual harassment at work.
- Go with your gut… if you feel uncomfortable or are left questioning an action, take time to reflect on it as soon after the event as possible. We do not all react in the heat of the moment; sometimes we are too shocked, sometimes it was so subtle we need to relive it in our minds again to confirm how it made us feel. Other times we are distracted as our focus was caught up in a work related task. However, all of this does not mean an act of sexual harassment didn’t occur.
- Consider your approach. This is where knowing your strengths and weakness and your own personal foibles can help you. For example, do you often react in the heat of the moment and live to regret it or are you more known for being introverted and not making a fuss? Either way reflecting on this and how others might perceive your report in advance can be important.
It is acknowledged you did not ask for this behaviour, nevertheless, it will be important to demonstrate that you are credible, serious and clear about the unacceptability of the incident.
It might help to write down if it’s easier, the sequence of events and then use a ‘scale of unacceptability’ to help you define the act(s) of sexual harassment. For example;-
- “I am now afraid to be in a room with this person: the behaviour was clearly indicating intention and expectation. It was either or all; manipulative, threatening and/or an attempt at being sexually persuasive.”
- “It was disgusting and blatant conduct: crude, vile, language and behaviour with undertones clearly related to sexual harassment and overall completely unacceptable in the workplace. The buffoon thinks they are being funny whilst testing boundaries.”
- “Obvious sustained personal interest; directed comments and behaviour towards me. I am getting unwanted attention that makes me feel uncomfortable, even if the language and body language appears to be innocent. For example, the perpetrator just slightly breaches my physical barriers; often standing or sitting too close to me, very slightly touching me either accidentally or meaningfully by grazing my hand, back or otherwise. The perpetrator might believe they are trying to be friendly, however, I don’t see it as such. I have asked them to ‘back off’ politely but they still don’t seem to change their behaviour.
- “Subtle signals only I would notice. It made me feel uncomfortable irrespective if others didn’t notice.” For example ‘Licking their lips with a menacing look on their face whilst reversing in the car park’ or saying ‘Sign here gorgeous with a meaningful look’ when they drop the post off each morning.”
Reporting sexual harassment at work is hard yet brave. Even though it’s thought to be easier now since the MeToo movement it’s still controversial and not plain sailing for anyone when they do report it.
If you have any questions about how to handle sexual harassment or victimisation and your rights, get advice from our dedicated HR Advisors who have expertise in supporting employees during these difficult times.
FREE GUIDE to determine if you have a good Employment tribunal Case
Not sure if you have a strong case or even any case at all for an employment tribunal?
Not sure if you should make a fuss? Feel lost and unsure? Download our free guide and in less than 5 minutes you'll know the answers and if you have a claim that might be worth something.
Learn how to get Compensation without going to Employment Tribunal.
BE your own Super CHAMPion
Learn everything you need to make a case for compensation in less than a week. Without the high cost of a lawyer, endlessly searching online and even going as far as an Employment Tribunal. If you are scared about going legal and having a drawn out process. We understand. If you just want to get some compensation to help rebuild your life, learn our proven tactics to get compensation through optimising the use of the statutory early conciliation process.
How to write a powerful appeal letter so your employer takes you seriously.
Learn how to create a powerful appeal letter which makes your employer really consider your case and understand that you are a force to be reckoned with...even if you are no good at letter writing.
If you have been dismissed unfairly (sacked) or issued with a disciplinary warning with no process this detailed and effective training enables you to write a powerful appeal letter. Includes, templates, timelines and training.
online interview coming up?
Online interviews are definitely the future! If you need to reset your confidence levels for an online interview and not sure how to engage this course is for you. We cover the mindset and technology that you need to be successful and of course all the questions and the best responses and how to beat all the other candidates to the job. Plus there is an amazing session by a LinkedIn expert on how to impress and update your LinkedIn profile.
FREE Disciplinary Meeting Checklist Download
Never been to a disciplinary meeting? You're not alone! It's a scary thought. Worried about it being fair, how to act, what to say, what not to say and how to prepare? Download our free checklist so you go into the meeting feeling prepared, confident and able to challenge effectively. Our checklist will prepare you with everything you NEED to know.
redundancy APPEal Letter template
Need to appeal your redundancy but not sure what to say and how to start? If you feel your redundancy was a sham or that redundancy has been used as an excuse or the company has not followed the lawful redundancy procedure. Download our quick and easy to use letter template an have your appeal letter ready in less than an hour. You'll write a professional, legally correct appeal letter stating your case intelligently. It is so easy to use as we've done all the work for you! Plus you can get support from a redundancy expert!