Responding to work-related gendered violence

This guidance may help employers respond to work-related gendered violence. 


Responses will vary

Responses to work-related gendered violence will vary depending on the nature and severity of the incident but employers should respond quickly and appropriately. Systems should be in place that guide what to do at the time of, and immediately after, an incident.

Physical assault, sexual assault and threats to harm someone should be referred to the police. If a matter has been referred to police, the incident should still be investigated, to assess whether risk-controls are effective and the response procedures worked the way they were supposed to.

Responding to incidents

A response system should address:

  • immediate safety issues
  • medical treatment
  • notifications required by external agencies such as police, fire, ambulance and WorkSafe
  • internal reporting
  • engagement of support services and referrals

Incident response policies and procedures should be supported by training to ensure that employees are familiar with them.

Managers and supervisors should be trained in handling disclosures of gendered violence incidents in ways that ensure the complainant does not experience further harm from making the complaint.

Referral to other agencies

A complainant may wish to contact other agencies about their complaint. When dealing with the incident and discussing referral, it's very important to respect the complainant's desired outcome and preferred way of managing the complaint.

If the complainant wishes, it may be appropriate for them to contact:

On matters that may be criminal offences contact:

Work-related Gendered Violence campaign

Gendered violence is an OHS issue. It is unacceptable in any form.

More information and resources