MPs want to know how much sexual harassment goes on in the workplace

MPs want to know how much sexual harassment goes on in the workplace

MPs want to know how much sexual harassment goes on in the workplace.

They are appealing for evidence about the extent of the problem and what can be done to stop it.

The House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee, which includes Birmingham MP Jess Phillps (Lab Yardley) and Black Country MP Eddie Hughes (Con Walsall North), has launched a new inquiry following reports of harassment in politics and Hollywood.

But they want to know how the problem affects people in every type of workplace.

As well as assessing the extent of the problem, who the perpetrators are and why it happens, the inquiry will focus on what should be done to tackle harassment more effectively.

Issues the Committee will look at include:

  • action that the Government and employers can take to change workplace culture, increase confidence to report problems, and make tackling harassment a higher priority;

  • how staff can be better protected from sexual harassment by clients, customers and others;

  • how effective – and accessible – tribunals and other legal means of redress are, and what improvements could be made to those systems;

  • the pros and cons of using non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in sexual harassment cases, and what can be done to prevent inappropriate use of NDAs.

The Committee is now inviting written evidence addressing any or all of these questions.

Committee Chair Maria Miller said: “Over the past few months there have been widespread reports of women’s appalling experiences of sexual harassment at work.

“Our recent evidence session with legal experts, employee and employers representatives painted a stark picture.

“Clearly much more needs to be done, both by Government and employers: this inquiry is about identifying solutions.

“We need to change workplace culture, keep women safe and provide effective legal remedies.

“We also need to understand whether non-disclosure agreements are being abused by legal experts and employers to cover up wrongdoing.

“The Committee would welcome evidence on how best to tackle these problems, currently faced by thousands of people at work.”

Written evidence can be submitted via the Committee’s website until 13 March 2018.

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