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Staff Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Procedure explains how people can seek support and make a report of sexual harassment, and describes how the University will respond to complaints or allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Scope

(2) This Procedure applies to all Staff and Affiliates of the University.

(3) This Procedure applies to any activity that is connected with the University, including:

  1. all aspects of employment, recruitment and selection, conditions and benefits, training and promotion, task allocation, shifts, hours, leave arrangements, workload, equipment and transport;
  2. on-site, off-site or after-hours work;
  3. any form of contact or communication that is relevant to University business or University activities whether initiated in person, by email, phone, via social media or other electronic means;
  4. attendance at a University campus, residence or facility;
  5. use of University equipment (e.g. IT equipment, vehicles or facilities);
  6. attendance at a University event, function or activity or events, functions or activities connected with the University, including after-hours or off-site social functions; and
  7. participating in any activity as a representative of the University (e.g. meetings, field trips, practicums, conferences, etc).

(4) For Macquarie University students affected by sexual harassment or sexual assault, refer to the Student Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policy.

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Section 2 - Policy

(5) Refer to the Staff Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response Policy.

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Section 3 - Procedure

Responsibilities and Required Actions

(6) The University strongly encourages Staff and Affiliates to report sexual harassment so that appropriate action can be taken to stop the conduct.

(7) However, it needs to be acknowledged that making a report can be difficult and people need to make the decision to do so for themselves. Sometimes Staff who experience sexual harassment may want to seek confidential support, i.e. counselling, reassurance or the opportunity to talk about their experience. In such cases, various support options are available as detailed below.

(8) In some cases, the University will need to take action even if the person seeking support does not wish to make a report, for example where a person seeks support and there is a serious and / or imminent risk to the health and safety of a person and / or there is evidence of unlawful behaviour.

(9) When Staff wish to make a report of sexual harassment to the University, so that appropriate procedures can be implemented to enquire into the matter, identify if sexual harassment is occurring or has occurred, and take appropriate action, Staff can access the reporting options detailed below.

How to Seek Support if You Have Concerns or Have Experienced Sexual Harassment

Internal Support

(10) Staff and Affiliates can seek support or further information in a number of ways, including speaking to:

  1. your immediate manager / supervisor;
  2. a member of the Human Resources team;
  3. the Manager, Workplace Equity and Diversity;
  4. the Director, Human Resources.

(11) The University has a strong commitment to inclusion. We have an active Ally Network supporting members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) community. Staff interested in connecting with the Ally Network should speak with a member of the Workplace Equity and Diversity team.

External Support

Crisis Support

(12) If someone is at immediate risk or needs urgent medical assistance, use these Emergency Contacts:

  1. On campus (Macquarie University Security) - (02) 9850 9999; or
  2. Off campus (NSW Police) - 000.

Employee Assistance Program

(13) Staff and their immediate family members can access free confidential counselling or support at any time by contacting Benestar. Benestar offers face-to-face counselling, telephone support, and online live chat support.

(14) To make an appointment with Benestar, call 1300 360 364.

Union Representative

(15) Staff who are members of a union may wish to contact their Union representative for support and advice.

External Support Services

(16) Contact details for additional external support services are available in the Schedule of Support Service.

How to Make a Report of Sexual Harassment

(17) Staff and Affiliates can report sexual harassment through the Complaint Management Procedure for Staff, which sets out how complaints or concerns, including reports of sexual harassment, will be managed. The Complaint Management Procedure for Staff also provides information on how to escalate serious complaints, including where there is a serious and / or imminent risk to the health and safety of a person, where there is evidence that the conduct complained of is unlawful, or where there is evidence of serious prolonged or systemic issues.

(18) If someone is at immediate risk or needs urgent medical assistance, use these Emergency Contacts:

  1. On campus (Macquarie University Security) – (02) 9850 9999; or
  2. Off campus (NSW Police) – 000.

External Options for Making a Report of Sexual Harassment

(19) You can make a complaint about sexual harassment to:

  1. the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW;
  2. the Australian Human Rights Commission; or
  3. the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Procedural Fairness

(20) The Complaint Management Procedure for Staff and University procedures for managing misconduct are underpinned by the principles of procedural fairness. The assumption of innocent until proven guilty will apply.

No Victimisation

(21) It is important that Staff and Affiliates feel safe and supported in raising concerns and making reports about sexual harassment. It is unlawful and a breach of the Staff Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response Policy and this Procedure for any Staff member or Affiliate to victimise or retaliate in any way against any person who seeks support or reports sexual harassment or who is involved in any procedure in response to a sexual harassment complaint.

Frivolous and Vexatious Complaints and Reports

(22) Complaints or reports that are frivolous, vexatious, or intentionally misrepresent events compromise the University’s efforts in preventing sexual harassment and building a community of respect and collaboration. Such complaints constitute a breach of the Staff Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response Policy and this Procedure and may result in disciplinary action.

Anonymous Reports

(23) It is often difficult for action to be taken in relation to anonymous reports. In accordance with the Complaint Management Procedure for Staff, the University will not normally take action in relation to anonymous complaints but may do so at its discretion and with regard to matters such as the nature of the complaint and whether there is sufficient information to reasonably progress the complaint.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(24) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(25) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. Definitions specific to this Procedure are contained in the Staff Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response Policy.