More than 60% of women have been sexually harassed at work but less than half of those harassed have reported the incident, according to interim results of a study from the ACTU.
The study, which has had 7,500 people participate to date, showed 35% of men also experienced sexual harassment at work.
Forms of harassment include crude or offensive behaviour, unwanted sexual attention, inappropriate physical contact and harassment on social media.
The survey also found that 64% of people had witnessed sexual harassment at work.
Despite the prevalence of sexual harassment revealed by the survey, of those who had witnessed sexual harassment in their workplace two thirds did not make a formal complaint, and 40% didn’t tell anyone at all. More than half feared negative consequences if they spoke up.
“The interim results show that while nearly two thirds of women have experienced harassment, very few believe that our current rules will deliver them justice,” ACTU President Michele O’Neil said.
“We need to change the rules. Sexual harassment is a workplace issue and people who experience it should be able to take it up through the workplace umpire.
“We need access to fair, effective and efficient complaints mechanisms that support people who’ve been harassed, not punish them.”
The survey remains open until the end of November.
People wishing to take part can go to australianunions.org.au