Effect of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace!

Published on 31 July 2023

Do you know that repeatedly calling “Sayang” and flirting to your colleagues considered as sexual harassment in the workplace?

Congrats if you are aware about this, for those who don't know about it, now you know!

What is sexual harassment based on the Employment Act 1955?

Sexual harassment is defined in the Employment Act 1955 ("EA 1955") as "any unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal, nonverbal, visual, gestural or physical, directed at a person which is offensive or humiliating or is a threat to his well-being, arising out of and in the course of his employment."

Under Section 81A of the EA 1955, any person can make a sexual harassment complaint. This includes:

  • An employee who experiences sexual harassment from another employee.
  • An employee who experiences sexual harassment from an employer.
  • An employer who experiences sexual harassment from an employee.

The law recognizes that sexual harassment can occur in various relationships within the workplace, and it provides protection and recourse for all individuals who may be subjected to such behavior.

Nowadays, awareness on sexual harassment in the workplace is gaining popularity among employers. They realized that this issue is not something that people should let as a small matter because it involves employees' needs and action should be taken if this issue happens in the company.

As we know, sexual harassment give many bad impact on the employees’ life which at the end impact on employment, career and work. 

Here are some of the common effects include:

  1. Emotional Distress: Employees who experience sexual harassment often suffer from emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and feelings of helplessness or humiliation.
  2. Decrease Job Dissatisfaction: Sexual harassment can lead to decreased job satisfaction and overall dissatisfaction with the work environment. Employees may feel demoralized and less motivated to perform their duties.
  3. Physical Health Issues: The stress and trauma resulting from sexual harassment can have physical health implications, such as headaches, sleep disturbances, and other stress-related conditions.
  4. Decreased Productivity: Employees who are subjected to sexual harassment may experience decreased productivity as they become preoccupied with the distressing situation, making it challenging to focus on their work tasks.
  5. Absenteeism: Some employees may resort to increased absenteeism or sick leave as a coping mechanism to avoid the harasser or the hostile work environment.
  6. Loss of Talent: In extreme cases, sexual harassment can lead to talented employees leaving the organization, resulting in a loss of valuable skills and experience.
  7. Reputation Damage: An organization that fails to address sexual harassment effectively can suffer from reputational damage, affecting its image and ability to attract and retain top talent.

It is essential for employers to take proactive steps to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, including implementing clear policies, conducting training for employees, promptly addressing complaints, and fostering a culture of respect and inclusivity.

Creating a safe and supportive work environment is crucial for the well-being and success of all employees.

If you want to raise awareness about Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, contact us, and we will tailor a program to meet your specific needs!

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