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Companies Don’t Intend to Review Harassment Policies

Businesses in the UK have confidence in their existing harassment and sexual misconduct policies and don’t intend to review them, a new survey has found. 

The survey was conducted by ICSA: The Governance Institute and recruitment specialist The Core Partnership in the aftermath of recent highly-publicised sexual harassment scandals.

It found that less than a fifth (13%) of the organisations polled say they intend to review their harassment and sexual misconduct policies and almost four-fifths (71%) do not. A further 15% of company secretaries polled were unclear.

“In one respect it is extremely positive that so few respondents indicated that changes would be made to deal with harassment and sexual misconduct,” commented Peter Swabey, Policy and Research Director at ICSA. “This seems to point to a high level of confidence in existing codes of conduct, Dignity at Work and grievance policies, whistleblowing policies and disciplinary procedures. That said, the 15% that do not know, should endeavour to find out.”

“As we saw in our recent survey of FTSE 350 company secretaries for our Winter 2017 FT-ICSA Boardroom Bellwether report, 52% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied that their board felt current policies and guidelines on sexual harassment in the workplace were fit for purpose, but 33% of respondents to that survey did not know,” he added. “Given the level of reputational risk that has been highlighted, if the matter has not yet been discussed at board level, it probably should be.”

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