Federal Budget 2021-22 – Investment in Addressing Sexual Harassment
Wednesday, 12 May 2021
The Law Society of Western Australia is pleased that the Federal Government has made an investment in addressing sexual harassment in the workplace.
The Law Society firmly advocates against sexual harassment, bullying and inequality at the workplace and welcomes the commitment from the Government to provide further funding over four years to implement its response to the Respect@Work Report.
Key measures include:
- $9.3 million over four years from 2021-22 to support the implementation of the Government’s response to the Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report;
- $6.0 million over four years from 2021-22 to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency and the Australian Public Service Commission to strengthen reporting on sexual harassment prevalence, prevention and response; and
- funding for additional legal assistance for specialist lawyers with workplace and discrimination law expertise.
With sexual harassment making national headlines, it has become evident that, in addition to much-needed government funding, it is also necessary to drive cultural change in the workplace, including the legal profession.
Advocating for such change, Law Society President Jocelyne Boujos has advised that the Society is currently developing a cultural change framework for the profession, providing tools to help address sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace. Called ‘Change the Culture’, this programme will offer the profession tools and training around 4 key pillars:
- The Evidence: Recent research data which sets out the facts about sexual harassment and bullying the legal profession and supports a call for change within the legal profession
- Behavioural Change: Tailored training for individuals and law firms to undertake as a means of taking action to shift the culture
- Systems and Procedures: Tools to support positive work cultures
- Confidential Support: Support mechanisms for individuals impacted by sexual harassment and bullying
Law Society President Jocelyne Boujos said: “The Law Society is delighted to be collaborating with key institutions around Australia in bringing ‘Change the Culture’ to the legal profession and community and will be launching this framework in the coming months. The Law Society is proud to drive these initiatives that aim to empower vulnerable workers and eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace. I encourage other organisations to support these commendable programs.”
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For comment please contact:
Manager Corporate Communications
(08) 9324 8650
The Law Society of Western Australia is the peak professional association for lawyers in the State. The Society is a not-for-profit association dedicated to the representation of its more than 4,000 members. The Society enhances the legal profession through its position as a respected leader and contributor on law reform, access to justice and the rule of law. The Society is widely acknowledged by the legal profession, government and the community as the voice of the legal profession in Western Australia.