Around 20% of workers worldwide report having experienced violence or harassment according to a recent International Labour Organization (ILO) report. This study sheds light on the prevalent nature of workplace misconduct, occurring not only within traditional office settings but also during commutes, digital communications, and home-based work arrangements.
The ILO report emphasizes the importance of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) policies in addressing and preventing workplace violence and harassment. A comprehensive examination across 25 countries reveals a notable trend: approximately two-thirds of regulations concerning workplace violence and harassment are embedded within OSH legislation. Unlike other regulatory approaches, OSH policies provide comprehensive guidelines that extend beyond mere compliance. They emphasize proactive strategies aimed at fostering a world of work free from violence and harassment.
“In terms of long-term and workplace-related strategies to tackle violence and harassment in the world of work, OSH represents one of the most direct entry points for addressing the problem. Focusing on the working environment and acting at the collective level, OSH is well-equipped to address the root causes of violence and harassment at work and provides structural and systematic responses.”
Drawing from the findings of the report, the ILO suggests policy-oriented recommendations for key stakeholders in promoting a world of work free from violence and harassment.
Prioritize Prevention through OSH Legislation
Shift focus from reactive strategies to preventive measures outlined in OSH legislation. By fostering collaboration between workers and employers, OSH frameworks can effectively prevent workplace misconduct and promote a world of work free from violence and harassment through proactive strategies and social dialogue.
Recognize and Address Psychosocial Risks Explicitly
Explicitly address psychosocial risks, including those contributing to violence and harassment, within OSH legislation. This ensures uniform implementation and facilitates a comprehensive approach to risk assessment and management, fostering a world of work free from violence and harassment.
Develop Comprehensive Guidance and Tools
Enhance the utilization of guidance and tools by providing practical support tailored to the needs of different enterprises, especially Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs). Collaboration between public authorities and social partners is crucial in developing nuanced resources addressing diverse challenges associated with workplace misconduct and promoting a world of work free from violence and harassment.
Ensure Integration and Complementarity of Legal Regimes
Integrate legal frameworks to reinforce protections against discrimination, inequality, and workplace misconduct, promoting a world of work free from violence and harassment. Cross-references and collaborations between different legal regimes can enhance accessibility to legal provisions and support measures.
Strengthen Social Dialogue in Addressing Workplace Misconduct
Utilize collective bargaining agreements and social dialogue mechanisms to tailor legal provisions and establish support mechanisms, fostering a world of work free from violence and harassment. Foster cooperation through information sharing, consultation, and financial participation to prevent and address workplace misconduct effectively.
Embrace Continuous Improvement and Adaptation
Continuously monitor, evaluate, and adapt legal and policy instruments to evolving working conditions, promoting a world of work free from violence and harassment. Strengthen enforcement mechanisms, such as labor inspectorates, to ensure compliance and provide technical support to employers and workers in fostering a world of work free from violence and harassment.
These recommendations provide a roadmap for stakeholders to navigate the complex landscape of workplace violence and harassment prevention and mitigation. By embracing proactive strategies stakeholders can collectively work towards creating safer, world of work free from violence and harassment.
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