What’s Been Happening in Australia in Relation to Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying from 29 January – 4 February 2018

Workplace Discrimination Complaints on the Rise in South Australia
Since the recent implementation of measures to stop sexual harassment and other predatory behaviour in the workplace, the South Australian Police Force has seen an increase in the number of discrimination complaints. This change came to light in a progress report issued by the Equal Opportunity Commissioner, 14 months after it had made a series of recommendations to improve the agency’s workplace culture. The Commissioner, Ms Vincent, said this could be a sign that the staff had begun to feel more comfortable and confident to voice their grievances. However, the report indicated that certain concerns still lingered over the slow pace of change and the danger of improving attitudes retreating in the long-term. Some staff expressed particular concern over the lack of transparency, especially with regards to the way in which superiors reported back to them.

Screen Australia Releases Code on Sexual Harassment
The final draft of Screen Australia’s Code of Conduct on sexual harassment has been released. The Code outlines what sexual harassment is, the potential personal liability that staff can incur, and avenues for victims. In order to be able to receive funding from Screen Australia, producers must adopt a zero tolerance approach towards sexual harassment, and address reports of such misconduct in a timely manner. Furthermore, one member of staff would need to be nominated as the sexual harassment prevention contact during production and post-production, while a compliance report would also be required to be submitted in post-production. Failure to do so could expose the producer to the risk of not receiving final payment of funding. The Code, which has been written to “reinforce the existing law, as set out in the Sex Discrimination Act”, is set to apply from the 2nd of April, with feedback welcome until the 1st of March.