This guide has been published by the Victorian Public Sector Commission (VPSC). It was developed by the Sexual Harassment in the Victorian Public Service Working Group (Working Group) that was set up under the auspices of the Integrity and Corporate Reform Sub-committee (ICRS) of the Victorian Secretaries Board (VSB).
The guide is intended to apply to the Victorian Public Service (VPS) and the Victorian Public Sector (collectively ‘organisations’). It has been prepared to assist organisations to implement their sexual harassment policy so that appropriate workplace behaviour is promoted and sexual harassment in the workplace is actively prevented and addressed. It seeks to provide clear guidance for human resource (HR) practitioners (or equivalent) and managers to consider in relation to sexual harassment so that processes can be prepared and consistently followed.
The Working Group has also prepared a Model Policy for the Prevention of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace (Model Policy) to assist organisations to either update or develop their sexual harassment policies. This guide should be considered in conjunction with the Model Policy.
This guide and the Model Policy are non-binding. They do not impose mandatory procedures that an organisation must follow when a report of sexual harassment is made, and an employee’s conduct is called into question. However, the laws that inform this guide and the Model Policy are binding.
In the first instance, organisations should refer to their own policies and procedures in relation to sexual harassment. VPS employers can also refer to the Management of Misconduct Policy developed by Industrial Relations Victoria for additional guidance. Furthermore, when managing an employee in relation to misconduct, the reader should refer to relevant industrial instruments.
The VPSC recommends that readers also refer to the employment principles and standards page and separate guidelines in relation to the ‘fair and reasonable treatment’ employment principle, issued by the Victorian Public Sector Commissioner.