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Harassment survey results dire


sexual harassment at work, survey, Young Women's Trust, Women still ‘face prejudice and discrimination in the workplace’ because of their gender.

One in eight large UK organisations admitted to knowing that sexual harassment has gone unreported in their workplace, and a further ten per cent have said they are also aware of formal reports, according to a recent YouGov survey for Young Women’s Trust.

The Young Women’s Trust, a charity which supports young women on low or no pay, asked 800 HR decision-makers about women’s experiences at work.

The result?

Three in five employers (63 per cent) agreed that sexism still exists in the workplace, with a third admitting women face prejudice and discrimination because of their gender in their own workplace.

The number of women saying their workplace was sexist was much higher, at forty per cent.

Ten per cent of organisations with 250 or more employees said there had been formal reports of sexual harassment in their workplace and 12 per cent said they were aware of incidents that had gone unreported.

This comes as a Supreme Court ruling found employment tribunal fees to be unlawful, following a challenge from public sector union Unison.

Now employees will once more be able to take on employers over workplace sexual harassment without worrying about having to pay huge sums to do so.

While tribunal fees were in place, the number of women reporting sexual harassment at work fell dramatically, despite calls to helplines increasing.

Data suggested that employment tribunal fees put many women off reporting sexual harassment at work.

Advisory, Conciliation, and Arbitration Service (ACAS) figures showed that there were 1,786 complaints of sexual discrimination launched through the service in 2014/2015 compared to 3,636 the previous year and 5,213 the year before that.

Despite the fall in reporting, 7,175 calls related to sex discrimination were made to the ACAS helpline from April 2015 to March 2016 – a 14 per cent increase on the year before.

Nearly 80 per cent of the calls were from women.

The Young Women’s Trust chief executive, Dr Carole Easton, said: “Too many young women are facing sexism and sexual harassment while trying to carry out their jobs.

“It is shocking how many employers are aware of this in their own workplace – yet the problem continues.

“As a result of the Supreme Court ruling, we are pleased that young women, many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet, will not be prevented from taking cases forward.

“It’s important that women have access to justice when they face discrimination and harassment at work, no matter how much money they have.

“Employers should look too at what they can do to prevent problems occurring in the first place.

“Supporting more women into a male-dominated workplace, for example, can help change the culture.

“Everyone should be able to feel safe at work.”

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