Work-related sexual harassment: Know your rights

Resources to help employees that have experienced or witnessed work-related sexual harassment.

Know your rights and responsibilities

As an employee, you have a right to feel safe at work. Your employer is responsible for providing and maintaining a safe workplace that is free of sexual harassment.

You are also protected from sexual harassment at work under equal opportunity and anti-discrimination laws.

As an employee, you also have a responsibility to take reasonable care of your own health and safety in the workplace, as well as the health and safety of others who may be affected by what you do or don't do.

Immediate support

If you are experiencing sexual harassment, there are a number of services available to support you.

If you feel unsafe right now or need immediate support (available 24 / 7): 

  • Call Victoria Police on 000
  • Call Lifeline on 13 11 14
  • Call 1800RESPECT (national sexual assault hotline) on 1800 737 732
  • Call the Sexual Assault Crisis Line on 1800 806 292
  • Speak to your local GP

Report it

If you have experienced work-related sexual harassment there are a range of options and support services available. If you feel safe to do so, you should report sexual harassment directly through your incident reporting system or directly to your manager or to human resources. If this is not possible or practical in your situation, other options for reporting the issue include:

Making a report on someone else's behalf

Third parties (for example, if you have witnessed sexual harassment or been made aware of sexual harassment by the person affected) can also make a report through the above mechanisms, but you must consult with the person affected and agree on next steps before you do so.

It is important that the person affected is in agreement with, and has control over actions the third party is taking on their behalf. This includes agreement on any action taken to report the sexual harassment, as well as having oversight of the process, and being informed of the response to a report of sexual harassment.

In many cases, if a third party makes a report of sexual harassment, the responding organisation will need to make contact directly with the person affected in order to pursue the matter. Third parties can contact the above organisations to have a discussion about the process for reporting and responding to sexual harassment, without providing any details of the specific incident.

Dedicated programs

There are also dedicated programs to specifically support women, men, and people who are LGBTQIA+, young, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, migrants or refugees who are affected by sexual harassment.