The Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) held its first of two virtual Sexual Harassment Law Workshops (2021) last Thursday.
The three-hour seminar for managers and team leaders was attended by two dozen people from various industries and led by corporate trainer and human resources consultant Wayne Robinson.
The session aimed to assess the readiness of workplaces and prepare them for the Jamaican government’s introduction of the Sexual Harassment (Protection and Prevention) Act 2021, which aims to protect all its citizens on the job. workplace, when renting property, conducting business, or in any other day-to-day interaction.
By law, workplaces and institutions are required to publish policies on sexual harassment and bring these policies to the attention of workers.
In his presentation, Robinson noted that “when the law takes effect, you will have one year from then, one year from then, to become fully compliant.” He provided information on the Jamaican context, noting that the implementation of procedures to address sexual harassment in the workplace is still largely at the discretion of employers.
Robinson also described what is prohibited under the law, sharing that this includes sexual harassment of a worker by a superior and a potential employer making a potential worker appear that the job offer or terms of employment depend on the acceptance of this person. or submission to sexual advances from the potential employer. The law also provides protections for a co-worker’s employees.
In defining sexual harassment, he said it is “any sexual advance towards a person by another person that is reasonably considered to be unwelcome, offensive or humiliating by the persons towards whom the sexual advance is made”. This includes physical contact of a sexual nature, sexual advances, sexual suggestions, sexual innuendo and any other physical gesture. Verbal and non-verbal behaviors of a sexual nature are included.
The session also included factors to consider when determining whether a conduct is sexual harassment, the duty of employers and institutions, the procedure for filing a complaint, possible penalties and the benefits of the workplace policy. .
The second of two SAJ workshops on the Sexual Harassment Act (2021), this time targeting line staff, will take place today.