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Union women secure key sexual harassment protections

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Union women have secured a key win for Queensland public sector workers with enhanced sexual harassment protections introduced under a new directive.

Preventing and responding to workplace sexual harassment (Directive 12/23) comes into effect on Friday 28 July and is a result of an election commitment from the Queensland Government secured by union women.

That commitment also included the appointment of a Special Commissioner for Gender Equity in 2021, who will now oversee the positive changes in the Public Sector Commission (PSC) in relation to sexual harassment.

QCU Acting General Secretary Jacqueline King said the directive harks in a new era in the public sector where managers will no longer be able to ignore or overlook toxic workplace culture and behaviours.

“Most importantly people who experience or witness sexual harassment will have access to clear and supportive information and pathways that agencies must implement to prevent sexual harassment and enact their positive duty towards all employees,” Jacqueline said.

“The implementation of the directive follows ongoing and close consultation with a key network of union women to ensure that this election commitment made by the government was honoured.

“The directive also means that employees who have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment will have access to a trauma-informed and person-centred response from their employer.

“We welcome the engagement with public sector unions in relation to the training and support for peer support officers and the oversight and governance measures that the PSC will engage to ensure that the directive is fully implemented.”

Click here to read the full directive.