As the Respect@Work bill gains momentum in changing workplace laws, we're seeing a very multi-pronged approach from all governing organisations.

Last year, on the 6th March 2023, the Fair Work Act was amended to prohibit sexual harassment in connection with work. This introduced changes to sexual harassment laws and the powers that the Fair Work Commission and the Human Rights Commission have to get involved and to penalise businesses who are not meeting their positive duty.

The legislation stresses a 'positive duty' where organisations have a legal obligation to take proactive and meaningful action to prevent harassment from occurring in or in connection to the workplace. In monitoring this, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has made reporting on this positive duty a lot more comprehensive.

What needs to be reported?

In addition to the reporting on gender equality, organisations with 100 or more employees will be now also be required to report on the following in connection to their positive duty for sexual harassment.


  • Whether the organisation has a policy or strategy on sexual harassment in place and what is included in it.


  • Whether the organisation's formal policy was reviewed and approved by the CEO or equivalent during the reporting period.
  • Whether the CEO or equivalent has communicated their expectations on safety, respectful and inclusive workplace conduct, and if so, when this occurs.


  • Information about what is included in the organisation's workplace health and safety risk management process as it relates to workplace sexual harassment.
  • What actions or responses have been put in place as part of the organisation's workplace sexual harassment risk management process.
  • What support is provided to employees involved in and affected by sexual harassment.
  • What options are available to employees who wish to disclose or raise concerns about incidents relating to sexual harassment or similar misconduct.


  • Whether the organisation collects data on sexual harassment, and if so, the type of data that is collected.
  • Whether the organisation provides reports to management on issues of sexual harassment, and if so, how frequently and what topics are included in the reports.


  • Whether training on sexual harassment, harassment on the ground of sex or discrimination is provided to employees, how frequently, and what is covered.

These questions serve as a starting point to ask yourself "Am I meeting my obligation?"

How Gallagher can help

For more insight into the WGEA reporting requirements, or to discuss support you might need to meet your positive duty regarding sexual harassment in the workplace, please reach out.

With a heavy penalty framework in place, as well as the Human Rights and Fair Work Commission able to flex their full powers to intervene, now is the time to do a quick review of the above and see where your organisation's gaps might be.

Gallagher can help ensure your organisation is compliant and that you're staying ahead of changes in legislation. We can also provide workplace training so that your leaders and employees can walk away armed with the knowledge and skills to recognise, prevent and respond to incidents.

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