Recruiters urged to ensure temps know of sexual harassment procedures

Recruiters have been urged to have open communication with candidates and clients, as well as clear procedures for reporting sexual harassment for workers on assignment.

The advice follows BBC research, released today, showing that of more than 6,000 men and women, those who work flexibly are more likely to encounter sexual harassment – 43% of flexible workers surveyed experiencing sexual harassment, compared with 29% of those employed by an organisation.

Commenting on the research, employment lawyers have told Recruiter the survey serves as a reminder to recruiters to have clear communication channels so occurrences of sexual harassment can be rooted out.

According to John Taylor, an employment lawyer at law firm EMW, recruiters should be encouraging people to bring complaints to them.

Taylor told Recruiter: “If clients have behaved in a way that is inappropriate then they should be encouraging the workers to complain…

“It may not be the client themselves. It may be one of the client’s own employees. Clearly the client would want to know if its own employees are behaving in a way that is inappropriate because if one of their own employees is doing that to another employee then the client is going to be liable.

“The first stage is to ensure workers feel they can bring complaints to the agency. It’s then really a question of the recruiter having a sufficiently good relationship with the client to actually report that to the client.”

Christopher Tutton, partner at law firm Constantine Law, told Recruiter agencies should ensure they have a proper internal complaints process that people can raise their concerns through.

“Having a grievance procedure is an obvious point that they should have an internal complaints mechanism.

“Some employers have anti-harassment and bullying procedures as well, more specifically on these kind of issues.

“I would investigate by speaking to the individual and getting a statement of what their concerns are and take that to the client to obtain their viewpoint and raise the issue with them.”

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