According to reports in the Financial Times, ministers will allow The Worker Protection Bill to fall – despite previously vowing to support the legislation that will introduce a new preventative duty on employers to tackle harassment and abuse in the workplace.
TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said: “It would be utterly shameful if the government allows this bill to fall.
“Ministers promised to bring in new laws to tackle sexual harassment. But are now backsliding under pressure from backbenchers.
“Every day we hear stories about how endemic sexual harassment is in our workplaces.
“And we know many in public-facing jobs – like shop workers and GP receptionists – suffer abuse and harassment regularly from clients and customers.
“Rishi Sunak must not abandon vulnerable staff. These protections are essential.”
- Government consultation on Worker Protection Bill: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-sexual-harassment-in-the-workplace/outcome/consultation-on-sexual-harassment-in-the-workplace-government-response
- Harassment at work: A landmark report published by the TUC in 2016 found that more than half of women had experienced sexual harassment at work: https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/SexualHarassmentreport2016.pdf
And TUC research published last year found that two in five BME people have faced racism at work in the last five years – from “banter” and jokes, through to bullying and harassment: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/2-5-bme-workers-experience-racism-work-new-tuc-report
A survey by shop workers’ union USDAW last month revealed that 9 in 10 staff had experienced abuse at work: https://www.usdaw.org.uk/About-Us/News/2022/Mar/Abuse-threats-and-violence-against-shopworkers-rem#:~:text=Paddy%20Lillis%20%E2%80%93%20Usdaw%20General%20Secretary,2020%20to%201
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