If your co-worker was accused of making inappropriate advances on a colleague in the office, what would you do? If a member of your team objected that sexual office ‘banter’ is making them feel uncomfortable, how would you resolve the issue? And if an ex-employee accused your organisation of ‘hushing up’ a historic incident of sexual misconduct, how would you handle the situation?
These are just a few of the questions that sexual violence prevention charity re:shape is asking this month as it launches its Sexual Misconduct & Harassment Response Service: a membership programme which supports organisations to effectively and ethically respond to the risk of sexual misconduct in the workplace.
Launching on September 27th, re:shape’s Sexual Misconduct & Harassment Response Service is designed to help business leaders navigate their risk and responsibility in this area to create positive and safe working environments in organisations across a broad range of sectors, including retail, voluntary, local authority, broadcasting, and construction. The programme’s aim is to protect employees, stakeholders, service users and customers from the risk of sexual harassment.
The service enables professional leaders to respond effectively to inappropriate workplace behaviour whilst also protecting their staff and organisation. The re:shape team will help organisations to understand their responsibilities and assess their risks; respond appropriately to historic, ongoing, or future allegations; foster a company culture of respect and autonomy; and put practices in place to encourage and build a transparent, safe working environment.
Membership gives organisations access to a specialist toolkit developed by re:shape in partnership with business, statutory and third-sector organisations. It works as a ‘pick and mix’ resource pack – organisations can choose the components most applicable to their needs.
The toolkit includes a confidential audit procedure to identify areas of risk, as well as an alternative self-reporting option; a sample sexual misconduct policy for firms to use as a basis for developing their own; a range of straightforward procedure and guidance resources; tools and assets to help managers open dialogues and change organisational culture; and additional tailored training and advice for teams and managers.