Skip to main content

Time For Respect

The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP
Media Release

Minister for Finance
Minister for Women
Minister for the Public Service
Senator the Hon Katy Gallagher

Minister for Social Services
The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP

Cabinet Secretary
The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP

Joint media release

The Australian Human Rights Commission's fifth national survey on sexual harassment in Australian workplaces, Time for Respect, released today highlights just how important it is for action to be taken to make workplaces safer.

A majority of Australians (77 per cent) have experienced sexual harassment at some point in their lives, including 89 per cent of women.

Approximately one in five people have experienced sexual harassment at work in the last 12 months, with one in three reporting such an experience over the past five years. The impact is disproportionately felt by women, with 41 per cent of women reporting experiences of sexual harassment at work, compared to 26 per cent of men.

Everyone has the right to a safe and respectful workplace. It is unacceptable that this is not a reality for so many people in Australia.

We have consistently said that sexual harassment is not inevitable – it is preventable. It is the aim of the Albanese Government to eliminate it from Australian workplaces.

The survey found that in 2022 only 1 in 5 people made a formal report or complaint about the behaviour and, of those, a quarter said it resulted in no consequences for the harasser. This must change.

This is why the Albanese Government has prioritised the implementation of all recommendations of Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins' groundbreaking Respect@Work report which was left unfinished by the former government. Significant progress has already been made across Commissioner Jenkins' recommendations.

The Government's Respect@Work laws, which recently passed the Parliament, will require employers to take proactive steps to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. That requirement will be enforced by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The Government thanks Commissioner Jenkins for her ongoing work in advancing these important issues.

We are committed to ending all forms of violence and harassment against women. Our National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032 helps to progress that goal and sets the ambitious task to do that within one generation.

The Government will continue to work with the Commission to advance a safer, more just and equitable society for all Australians.