Victoria has launched new guidelines to combat gendered violence at work.

The Victorian Government says employers turning a blind eye to gendered violence are on notice, with new measures for identifying, preventing and responding to gendered violence in the workplace, which can range from comments and gestures through to sexual assault and rape.

Work-related gendered violence is any behaviour affecting a person because of their sex, gender or sexual orientation, or because they do not adhere to socially prescribed gender roles, that creates a risk to health and safety. This can include:

• Stalking, intimidation or threats

• Verbal abuse

• Ostracism or exclusion

• Offensive language and imagery

• Put downs, innuendo and insinuations

• Someone being undermined in their role.

WorkSafe has developed A Guide for employers: Work-related gendered violence including sexual harassment in consultation with the Victorian Trades Hall Council and other employer and employee representative groups.

Where there is a risk of work-related gendered violence causing physical or mental injury, employers have an obligation under the OHS Act to control that risk, in addition to their obligations under the Equal Opportunity Act.

“More than 60 per cent of women in Victoria have experienced some form of gendered violence at work and have felt at risk in their workplaces – we all have a responsibility to do more to address this,” said the state’s Minister for Workplace Safety, Jill Hennessy.

“These guidelines make clear the types of behaviour that are unacceptable and what employers can do address them and change attitudes.”