An International Labour Organization Instrument on Violence against Women and Men at Work: the Australian influence
Violence in and out of work, both domestic violence and sexual harassment, are violations of human rights and impact heavily in the workplace. All forms of violence result in a high cost for workers, employers and society in general, in lost time, injuries, complaints, staff turnover, loss of skills, and reputational risk. The International Labour Organization has decided to discuss in 2018 an international labour standard on this subject. In Australia, there has been wide recognition for some time of sexual harassment as a significant workplace issue. Now there are greater inroads toward recognizing and addressing the impact of other forms of gender-based violence in the world of work, hence the growing number of clauses in enterprise agreements and state awards aiming to mitigate the impact of domestic violence on workers, both women and men, and the movement to have clauses in modern awards that specify paid time off to allow a worker time to deal with the problem. Australian experience may help shape the proposed International Labour Organization instrument on workplace gendered violence.