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Sexual harassment policies a must-have for all businesses

PRESS RELEASE: Sexual harassment policies a must-have for all businesses

Allegations of staff members engaging in sexually inappropriate behaviour at one of New Zealand’s top law firms further demonstrate why every employer needs robust procedures and policies around sexual harassment, says Diversity Works New Zealand chief executive Bev Cassidy-Mackenzie.

Russell McVeagh chief executive Gary McDiarmid has confirmed the company undertook a full investigation after it received “serious allegations” about events that took place in Wellington more than two years ago, and that staff members who were the subject of the allegations left the firm following that investigation.

“We work with Russell McVeagh and its leadership has shown a commitment to creating an inclusive culture where all staff feel safe to bring their whole selves to work,” says Cassidy-Mackenzie. “They have always had harassment policies in place and made staff aware of them.”

“But this incident illustrates that any organisation, big or small, needs to be prepared to deal with sexual harassment issues, and all businesses should have systems in place to protect and support staff when allegations are made.”

Diversity Works New Zealand offers training to prevent workplace bullying and harassment and members can access templates and advice to draft policies that cover these issues.

Diversity Works New Zealand was formerly the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust

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