There is a New Workplace Harassment Helpline in the UK

Emma Watson, a celebrity and an avid campaigner for women’s rights, has kickstarted a free hotline for women facing workplace harassment. Watson’s hotline will be the first and only assistance program in England and Wales to focus on women’s experiences at work.

This new hotline aims to provide women in the workplace with information on their rights and the actions they can take to hold their abusers and employers accountable. Watson’s hotline and the treaty on workplace harassment in the making by the International Labour Organization create hope for a new climate of prevention and accountability around these issues to emerge.

The current treatment of sexual harassment in the workplace can make it difficult for women to come forward. Organisations like Rights of Women (who are assisting in the management of the helpline) are working towards dismantling of issues that place an undue burden on the victim.

The Importance of Communication in the Workplace

Communication between employer and employee is vital. Once it breaks-down, it can be quite hard to restore. A communication breakdown can lead to an unhealthy work culture where workplace harassment may appear as accepted or ignored by the organisation when, in reality, the managers lost their awareness of the experiences of their team members. Maintaining effective communication should be a priority for any business to ensure workplace safety. A supportive work environment helps staff to feel safe at work. Continuous communication reassures team members that they can trust their manager to do the right thing when necessary.

Workplace Harassment Support in Australia

Does Australia have something like Emma Watson’s helpline? Yes, we do!

There are several organisations that can provide support to workplace harassment victims. However, there is only one specifically targeting women – Working Women Queensland in Brisbane.

Working Women Queensland (and other similar helplines) helps women understand what their workplace rights are, how to assert those rights and what their options are for dealing with harassment.  Initiatives such as Working Women Queensland help to create a safe workplace environment for everyone by highlighting the issues of workplace harassment and informing victims on their rights in the workplace while empowering them to act on otherwise very delicate and personal situations. Empowered workplace harassment victims can share what they have learned with others who may be experiencing a similar situation.

What to do if you need help?

For individuals:

If you are experiencing harassment or know someone else experiencing it, you can call Working Women Queensland on 1800 621 458 for free advice or visit their website to learn more.

For organisations:

If you are a business owner concerned with the workplace culture of your organisation, call Bramwell Partners on 07 3630 5695. We can help to improve your business’ work health and safety compliance; we also provide comprehensive hr support services which include employee conflict resolution.