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More workplace support needed for survivors of assault

The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions was joined today by people across the country to submit on a bill designed to provide additional support to assault survivors.

The Employment Relations (Extended Time for Personal Grievance for Sexual Harassment) Amendment Bill is currently before Select Committee at Parliament.

The NZCTU strongly supports the intention of the Bill.

NZCTU Vice President Rachel Mackintosh said the Bill was a step towards allowing survivors sufficient time to process their situation and safely raise a personal grievance.

“This is an important development for working people, and we applaud Dr Deborah Russell’s continued commitment to assisting survivors.”

Mackintosh said 1 year is still an arbitrary timeframe and would benefit from being increased further.

“The NZCTU would like to see the period extended to 6 years as this reflects the typical timeframe allowed for most civil claims. This timeframe also acknowledges the time needed to take decisive steps and overcome the systemic obstacles faced by working people who face sexual harassment.”

Mackintosh said the timeframe should also extend to survivors of workplace racial harassment.

“Racial harassment is also a serious, systemic issue and should benefit from this extension.

“All working people who are subjected to an imbalance of power at work must have their needs addressed equitably.”