· 1 min read · News

Employers must do more to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace, says NUJ


National Union of Journalists (NUJ) general secretary Michelle Stainstreet condemned sexism and harassment at work and urged the Government and media employers to acknowledge and address the problems that exist in the media industry.

Stainstreet was speaking after plans announced at Conservative party conference this week included proposals on health and safety measures, trade union rights and the withdrawal of sections of the Equality Act relating to third party harassment. The amendments were part of the Enterprise and Reform Bill and are a package of measures to help cut unnecessary red tape and take steps towards creating the right conditions for businesses to grow.

Stainstreet said: "Sexism and sexual harassment are totally unacceptable and the NUJ is united and determined to challenge it. We are calling for media employers, trade union and journalists to work together to ensure that women are safe at work.

"We want to see measures put in place to protect victims and we want procedures to be introduced to effectively tackle the harmful and damaging behaviour of the perpretrators.

"One of the most recent examples is the sexually based abuse targeted at women journalists on the internet and the lack of measures introduced to protect staff from harm," said Stainstreet. "The last thing abused women need is the offer of shares in return for giving up their employment rights."

She added: "Supporting a strong and representative trade union can help to address the problems and the NUJ will continue to work hard to convince the Government and employers of the need for equality policies aimed to challenge unhealthy cultures and practices at work."

Business minister Jo Swinson said: "Clearing away barriers to help businesses grow and invest is an essential part of the Government's plan for growth."