Workplaces told to ban sexy clothing
Sexy uniforms, swearing and eye-rolling should be stamped out to stop sexual harassment and violence on the job, under new workplace rules released on Monday.
The taxpayer-funded Safe Work Australia has urged workers to wear badges such as "I'm a son'' or "I'm a mother'', to help calm angry and upset customers.
The first national guidelines to stop sexual harassment could see an end to skimpy uniforms in bars and restaurants, as well as "low level'' teasing and nicknames.
"Ensure clothing is practical for the work being done - avoid sexualised uniforms,'' the new guidelines state.
The Safe Work document singles out the police, medical and legal professions as high-risk workplaces based on a "hierarchical structure''.
And it warns that "working from home may provide an opportunity for covert sexual harassment to occur online or (by) phone.''
Safe Work urges victims to tell harassers to stop, if they feel "safe and comfortable doing so'', and to report problems to supervisors.
Sexual assault, indecent exposure, stalking and "obscene or threatening'' phone calls, emails or social media posts should be reported to police.
"Sexual harassment … can include unwelcome hugging, kissing … staring or leering, intrusive questions about your private life or physical appearance, unwanted invitations to go out on dates, requests for sex, or sexually explicit emails, calls, text messages or online interactions,'' the new guidelines state.
Sexually offensive pictures, or a culture of suggestive comments or jokes, can also constitute harassment.
The Safe Work guide says employers should avoid having furniture, partitions or barriers that restrict workers' movements and visibility, and to avoid locked areas such as storerooms where workers could "become trapped or cornered''
It suggests that workers should not have to use their private mobile phones or personal social media accounts to engage with clients, to avoid after-hours harassment.
The Safe Work rules also recommend stamping out swearing and eye-rolling at work.
"You should look out for less serious, but still unacceptable behaviour such as eye rolling, sneering, swearing and name-calling,'' it says.
"This conduct can sometimes escalate to more serious forms of aggression and may be an indication of a risk of violence.''
The Safe Work guidance says employers should provide sufficient staff during busy periods, and reduce waiting times and missed calls in call centres, to prevent customer aggression and violence.
"(Provide) your workers with badges to remind customers and clients that a worker is part of the community, eg labelled with 'I'm a son' or 'I'm a mother','' it says.
Originally published as Workplaces told to ban sexy clothing