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20 July, 2019
 
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Unions spell out rules on sexual harassment

Code of conduct on sexual harassment in the workplace to be included in trade union contracts

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Three unions have signed a code of conduct on sexual harassment in the workplace, in an effort to include very detailed Do's and Don'ts in employment contracts.

According to Philenews, trade unions SEK, PEO, and OEB, have joined forces in drafting a code of conduct on sexual harassment in the workplace in an effort to cultivate a culture of respect and combat sexual harassment and sexism.

The code highlighted some detailed descriptions of behaviour that is considered sexual harassment, including inappropriate or unnecessary touching of any part of the body, gesturing with the body, eyes, or mouth, indecent or offensive proposals, and comments about one’s body, sexual orientation, as well as sexual conquers or blunders.

Written or verbal comments with sexual innuendos or comments that are offensive to one’s sexual dignity are also forbidden, including sharing text messages and images of inappropriate sexual content.

Any sexual advances or requests involving sex are totally inappropriate when a job hiring, firing, or promotion is in the backdrop

Specific reference is also made regarding sexual favours, with the code of conduct specifically describing any sexual advances or requests involving sex are totally inappropriate when job hirings, firings, or promotions are in the backdrop.

The code also points out that telling stories of one’s sex escapades to someone else is akin to a predator-victim relationship, where joking or harassing in a jokingly manner or repeatedly asking someone to dinner or going out, are all signs of inappropriate behaviour.

Victims or potential victims of sexual harassment in the workplace are advised to confront the harasser in person, in writing or verbally, and point out that his or her behaviour is offensive and ask that it be stopped, according to the code of conduct.

Persons who believe they are victims of sexual harassment are also encouraged to report the incident to the employer or superior, and if that does not resolve the situation, then a case should be filed with a labour court.

According to the trade unions, the code of conduct on sexual harassment in the workplace aims to put a stop to sexual harassment and cultivate a culture of mutual respect. The rules were said to be referring to both private and public or state workplace environments as part of collective agreements signed by union members.

Last year, there were 1830 complaints filed, with 1707 of them involving financial or administrative issues. Thirteen of the complaints were officially filed under gender equality in the workplace, a category that includes sexual harassment allegations.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  sexual harassment  |  gender equality  |  trade union  |  job contract  |  SEK  |  PEO  |  OEB

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