Sexual harassment is part of a wider, relentless culture of sexual violence and misogyny. It is not a low-level act that should be accepted as an inevitable part of everyday life.

As a global issue, it is dealt with differently across the world. We have the opportunity to tackle this issue head-on to make Wales the safest place to work, live and socialise.

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is a display of power which is intended to intimidate, coerce or degrade another person. It can take place in any place or situation, walking down the street, in school, in the workplace, online or in your own home.

Sexual harassment can be physical, verbal, or non-verbal

How much of a problem is sexual harassment in the workplace?

Sexual harassment is such a pervasive issue in workplaces that over one in two women in the UK have experienced it. This rises to nearly two in three women aged 18-24.

In some sectors, such as retail, nine out of ten young women surveyed by USDAW said they had experienced workplace sexual harassment in the previous 12 months.

Things need to change because the effects of sexual harassment are devastating and lifechanging

(anonymous, ‘No Grey Area’ Report from Welsh Women’s Aid (2021))

How can I tackle sexual harassment in my workplace?

Wales TUC, working with Welsh Women's Aid, has published a toolkit on sexual harassment in the workplace. It gives you the information you need to tackle sexual harassment and stop it from happening.

Download the sexual harassment in the workplace toolkit to find information and support to help you:

  • Identify workplace sexual harassment and offer effective support to those who experience it
  • Understand the legalities around workplace sexual harassment
  • Navigate conversations and negotiations with employers on behalf of members who have experienced workplace sexual harassment
  • Hold employers to their legal responsibility to prevent sexual harassment from happening in workplaces
  • Campaign for a zero-tolerance approach to workplace sexual harassment through various preventative measures

At a time when there seems to be an epidemic of sexual harassment in all its forms, this toolkit will help union reps support those at the sharp end of this abuse and bring perpetrators to justice.

Joyce Watson MS (Labour, Mid and West Wales) who sponsored the launch of the toolkit on 22 March 2023

It is vital that we all commit to a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment and that employers are equipped to provide trauma-informed, person-centred responses to those employees who disclose to them, alongside implementing robust mechanisms for accountability.

Sara Kirkpatrick, CEO of Welsh Women’s Aid

Sexual harassment survey

While unions are in no doubt that sexual harassment in the workplace is a widespread problem, we don't have enough data in Wales to back it up.

We're conducting this survey to find out more and to equip trade unions with the knowledge they need to stop this happening.  We first ran this survey in 2019 but work has changed a lot since then.

We need your views even if you completed the previous survey to ensure we gather as much information as possible.

Complete the survey (English and Welsh)