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Expatriate workers less likely to disclose violence at work

Globally, 44% of expatriate workers cited ‘not knowing what to do’ as a reason for not telling someone about violence or harassment at work compared to 34% of people that work in their native countries.

The data, from global safety charity Lloyd’s Register Foundation, found 28% of those working outside their country of birth have experienced harassment or violence at work, but only 53% told someone about it. 

Chris Davis, thought leadership manager at Institution of Occupational Safety and Health said if policies are not accessible, they will not be implemented.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “Employees should certainly have easy access to an organisation’s policy library in order that they can digest the content at their leisure. 

“If policies are too convoluted, they will remain policies in name only.” 

More on violence and harassment:

HSE violence at work guidance updated

Domestic abuse: what are your responsibilities as an employer

Pandemic gives rise to abuse of retail workers

He said communication of policies to staff should both involve explaining the policy and educating staff more generally on the topic of violence at work. 

“Employers might also keep a note of whether employees have read different policies,” he added. 

Marta Sisí Jiménez, head of HR at graphics resource Freepik Company, said the issue of discrimination reporting should never be a burden placed on those who experience it.  

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: “These alarming statistics highlight a grave concern that many organisations are failing to provide adequate protection to their employees. 

“Although these policies are outlined in employment contracts, they often get buried, which can impede their effectiveness. 

“Rather than simply reacting to incidents of harassment, managers should proactively work with employees to ensure that they have the necessary tools and resources to identify and report if it arises.” 

Jiménez says the culture of the workplace also plays a significant role.  

She said: “Management should be trained on how to foster a supportive network and actively work towards creating a culture where discrimination is not tolerated.  

“By taking a more proactive approach to address discrimination and harassment, businesses can create a safe and inclusive workplace.”