Victims of sexual harassment should get time off

23 May 2019

Victims of sexual harassment should get time off and the right to move workplace, PCS conference agreed today (23).

Motion A78 instructing the NEC to campaign for a range of measures to combat sexual harassment was unanimously carried. It also called for more training for all staff and managers in PCS organised areas.

Proposing the motion, Liz McGachey of DWP Glasgow said: “Members need to feel they are able to successfully report sexual harassment and they are protected and taken seriously.

“Reps need better facility time arrangements and improvements to be made to the policy.”

Tracy Abrahams of MOJ North and West Yorkshire spoke in favour of the motion and said: “How can we get more women involved in the union?

“Tackling the scourge of sexual harassment in the workplace would be one way of getting them involved in the union because they would see their union taking a proactive stance on their behalf.”

The motion instructed the NEC to negotiate using all available industrial, public and political pressure to achieve:

• Mandatory sexual harassment awareness training for all staff in PCS organised areas, to be co-delivered by accredited, trained PCS workplace reps.

• Improvements to facility time arrangements so that reps can be proactively engaged in co-delivering such training and being involved in awareness efforts.

• Specific training for managers on how to investigate allegations of sexual harassment, including on how to deal with “similar fact evidence” from multiple survivors.

• The right to paid time off for survivors, especially during the complaints process, to reduce the burden of stress on those making a complaint, with such time not counted as sick leave.

• The option of a supported move to a different premises where this is wanted by the survivor, regardless of the outcome of the case, with protection so far as possible for job role, and with any additional travel costs and travel time to be borne by the employer.

• On-going PCS input into the current Cabinet Office-led efforts to roll out guidance on sexual harassment, and on any proposed Code of Practice or mandatory duty.

Conference further instructs the NEC to either press the Cabinet Office to run a dedicated survey, comparable to what DFID and Scottish Parliament have done, to expose the extent of sexual harassment at work, or else to organise our own, in tandem with union organising drives.


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