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New directive on preventing sexual harassment

Union members have successfully won a new 'preventing and responding to workplace sexual harassment' directive that strengthens protections for Queensland public servants.  

The directive is a big step forward from the individual grievance directive that has been used for sexual harassment complaints in the past. 

The new directive will change the way sexual harassment allegations are handled, with a focus on person-centred support.  

One of the main changes is the requirement for a decision to be made about a grievance within 14 days – this is compared to the old process that was often very long and often didn’t keep the complainant in the loop. Keeping the complainant and their union updated on the decisions and outcome is now an obligation.  

Departments also must commence planning to have a standalone sexual harassment policy in place by 1 February 2024.  

Further, the directive requires public sector entities to have training in place by 1 July 2024. 

Everyone deserves to feel safe and respected in their workplace and not to be retraumatized when they come forward. This directive is a step in the right direction.  

Read the new directive here.