Gendered violence is a workplace risk

“Every Victorian has the right to go to work and be treated with dignity, respect and fairness whatever their sex, gender or sexual orientation.”
– Natalie Hutchins, Parliamentary Secretary for Workplace Safety

WorkSafe Victoria has recently launched a new campaign calling to end gendered workplace violence. The campaign is designed to create greater awareness and understanding of gendered workplace violence, and educate employers about their obligations, and workers about their rights under health and safety laws.


Work-related gendered violence

Work-related gendered violence is any behaviour, directed at any person, or that affects a person, because of their sex, gender or sexual orientation, or because they do not adhere to socially prescribed gender roles, that creates a risk to health and safety.

This includes violence targeted directly at someone specifically because, for example:

  • they are a woman
  • they identify as LGBTIQA+
  • they don’t follow socially prescribed gender roles and stereotypes

Work-related gendered violence can also be experienced indirectly. A person may experience gendered violence not targeted specifically at them (such as overhearing a conversation that affects them) or witness violence directed at someone else.

“The harm caused by work-related gendered violence can end careers, damage mental health, ruin relationships, and even destroy lives”.
– WorkSafe executive director of health and safety Narelle Beer


Employers on notice

WorkSafe Victoria has warned that employers are on notice. All employers are reminded that their obligations under health and safety law extend to ensuring that sexism, homophobic comments, workplace aggression, and discriminatory language doesn’t occur in the workplace.


Resource: Work-related gendered violence including sexual harassment guide, WorkSafe Victoria


Disclaimer: The material within this update is provided for general information and educational purposes in summary form on topics which are current when it is first published. The content does not constitute legal advice or recommendations and should not be relied upon as such.



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