Responsibilities of the department

The department recognises its obligations under the Equal Opportunity Act and the Sex Discrimination Act to take reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate sexual harassment from its workplaces. The department is committed to:

  • ensuring that there are clear processes in place for raising grievances and complaints
  • taking action if the department is aware of any behaviour which could constitute sexual harassment, even if no complaint has been lodged. All employees, including principals, teachers, executives, managers and other persons can be liable for the actions of others if they authorise, encourage or assist sexual harassment to occur in the workplace
  • clearly communicating and promoting these processes amongst employees
  • monitoring the implementation of this Policy
  • identifying potential risk factors and taking prompt, reasonable action to minimise those risks including:
    • managing organisational change in an inclusive and participatory way, for example, consult with employees affected as early as possible and develop and maintain effective communication throughout the process
    • implementing work systems to prevent the risk of sexual harassment, ensuring these systems maintain privacy and confidentiality of the data collected, and review and evaluate those systems, for example, seek feedback from employees through the People Matter Survey and School Staff Survey
  • promoting positive working relationships in the department’s workplaces
  • ensuring information and training to support the effective implementation of this Policy is accessible
  • reviewing the Policy every 2 years or earlier as required, and communicating any changes or updates to the Policy amongst employees.

Responsibilities of executives, managers and principals

Executives, managers and principals are responsible for:

  • modelling appropriate behaviour
  • monitoring the working environment to ensure as far as practicable that acceptable standards of conduct are maintained at all times and that sexual harassment is not tolerated
  • promoting awareness of the avenues for advice and the complaints procedures with respect to sexual harassment as set out in this Policy
  • treating complaints and behaviour which may constitute sexual harassment seriously and taking immediate action
  • treating complaints of sexual harassment with appropriate sensitivity and confidentiality
  • ensuring that a person is not victimised for making, or being involved in, a complaint of sexual harassment
  • providing contact details for Workplace Contact Officers to complainants or respondents
  • ensuring in their practice that their employees abide by the department values and the Code of Conduct for Victorian Public Sector Employees.

Responsibilities of all employees

The responsibilities of all employees are to:

  • comply with this Policy and the Code of Conduct for Victorian Public Sector Employees
  • report any incident of sexual harassment that they have experienced or witnessed
  • participate in any training provided by the department, including completing the Sexual Harassment eLearning moduleExternal Link and the Equal Opportunities eLearning moduleExternal Link
  • model appropriate behaviour and the department values
  • treat any allegations or complaints of sexual harassment with appropriate confidentiality
  • ensure that a person is not victimised for making or being involved in a complaint of sexual harassment.

Responsibilities of the Workplace Contact Officer

The Workplace Contact Officer (WCO) network is a group of employees who have volunteered and been trained as a point of contact for colleagues experiencing harassment, discrimination, bullying, victimisation or family violence. The responsibilities of Workplace Contact Officers are to:

  • be familiar with this Policy including the procedures for dealing with allegations of sexual harassment
  • understand the negative effects that sexual harassment can have in the workplace, and the importance of reporting.
  • act as a point of contact for a person considering making a complaint or seeking information about sexual harassment
  • provide the person with information about the various options and avenues for advice and the complaints procedures
  • understand that the role of the Workplace Contact Officer is to provide information about the processes and avenues for assistance, and does not extend to investigation, conciliation, making a judgement about what constitutes sexual harassment, or other intervention
  • participate in any training related to carrying out these responsibilities provided by the department.
Responsibilities for Sexual Harassment

Reviewed 21 February 2024

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