Report finds an overall eighteen percent increase in workplace harassment reports made by employees in the wake of the #MeToo movement, with forty-one percent of those made substantiated.
Leading ethics and compliance software and services company NAVEX Global® have released a report finding the highest employee reporting rate for HR, Diversity and Workplace Respect infractions lies in the food and drink industry, with 86 percent of all reports coming from this sector, according to the 2019 report.
Overall, the report found an eighteen percent increase in harassment complaints made by employees since the #MeToo movement started in 2017, with forty-one percent of these reports being substantiated.
The majority of reports came in the HR, Diversity and Workplace Respect category, accounting for 70 percent of all reports. The report also found that the Health Care and Social Assistance industry recorded the highest reporting rate for Business Integrity, making up 25 percent of the overall reports.
There was, however, a drop in the proportion of reports that were followed up by the employer. This figure stood at 32 percent in 2017 but dropped to 20 percent in 2018. This is consistent with previous findings showing that 44 percent of UK business directors were not trained in dealing with workplace harassment. This can lead to reports not being correctly investigated and reporters potentially feeling deterred from speaking out again, highlighting a need for more KPI and Compliance Benchmarking measures.
“These findings reflect strong growth in the number of employees willing to speak out against harassment – and they should serve as notice to employers that #MeToo is a fundamental shift in employees’ willingness to tolerate harassment,” said Carrie Penman, chief compliance officer, NAVEX Global. “That said, the problem of harassing conduct is larger than these numbers reflect as many employees still fear reporting. Failed cultures, ineffective internal processes, fear of retaliation, and lack of leadership support will continue to result in numbers that do not reflect the true pervasiveness of workplace harassment.”
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