CSP concerned by reports government is dropping its Employment Bill

The CSP is alarmed by reports that the government is dropping the manifesto commitment to introduce an Employment Bill, and warns this may leave survivors of sexual harrassment unprotected in the workplace.

Worker holding hand up in defence

The CSP is a member of the TUC #Thisisnotworking alliance – a coalition of trade unions, third sector organisations and allies who joined together in 2018 in the fight against sexual harassment. The alliance have campaigned to bring greater protections to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

In 2021 the government equalities office (GEO) announced that it would introduce legislation for a preventative duty. The duty would take responsibility away from the person who has experienced sexual harassment and instead mean that employers would be required to take all reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment from happening in their workplaces. 

The CSP welcomed the GEO’s commitment to tackling sexual harassment.  

However, the Employment Bill was seen as thevehiclethat would introduce this preventative duty into law. Its dropping by government would in turn delay introduction of the preventative duty- to the detriment of those experiencing sexual harassment or violence at work. 

TUC research shows that: 

  • one in two women have experienced sexual harassment at work, rising to seven in ten for disabled women, but four out of five don’t report 

  • LGBT+ workers experience unacceptably high levels of sexual harassment in the workplace

Workforce Race Equality Data (WRES)

Meanwhile, 2021 Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) report for NHS England has recently been issued. This is the sixth publication since the WRES was mandated and the CSP is currently examining the data. We strongly encourage CSP members working in NHS England to look at this data with their staff networks and equality, diversity and inclusion committees. 

The report has the following key roles: 

  • To enable organisations to compare their performance with others in their region and those providing similar services, with the aim of encouraging improvement by learning and sharing good practice. 

  • To provide a national picture of WRES in practice, to colleagues, organisations and the public on the developments in the workforce race equality agenda.

Please feed any work you undertake within your staff networks to National Officers' Siân Caulfield and Robin Hinks.

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