Here’s what you can do about it: Five top tips to stop harassment at work.

I read an article in a popular broadsheet recently that advised people what to do if they were being harassed at work. On paper the advice was good, but there were no practical steps for the employee to take. So I decided to write this blog!

Making a complaint can be stressful and intimidating so a step-by-step approach can be helpful.

Before I start, take note: sexual harassment is not always sexual assault. If you have been assaulted, this is a criminal matter and should be reported to the police.

Here’s what to do if you’re being harassed at work:

  1. Keep a record

Make a note of the incident(s) and if anyone else was present make a note of who witnessed the incident, as well as what time it was, where it was, what was said/done.

  1. Stand up for yourself

Now I recognise this is easier said than done. If you can, tell the person or people to stop. Say the ‘joke’, behaviour or action is making you uncomfortable, and if they don’t stop, you will report it.

  1. Tell someone

Next step is to talk to someone, ideally your manager or HR. If you can’t talk to your manager or HR, find someone that you do feel comfortable talking to.

If your organisation has subscribed to our employee hotline, tell us, Tell Jane!

  1. Make it official

After you have spoken to someone you do feel comfortable with, you then need to make a formal report by speaking to someone with authority. If you couldn’t initially speak to your manager or HR, ask the person you have told to accompany you. If your company doesn’t take action, you can always call one of our Tell Jane specialists who can advise you or ACAS is another good place call.

  1. Be clear about the solution

It helps to know what you want the outcome of making the complaint to be. How could it be resolved from your perspective? Do you require said behaviour to stop, do you need an apology, does the person require disciplinary action and is the incident a criminal matter? There is a whole spectrum of answers to this question, but it’s important to know what you want the solution to the report to be.


Work in HR? Interested in preventing harassment, discrimination and bullying at work? Why not sign up to one of our upcoming seminars or events? Click here for more information

What to read more?

5 top tips for preventing harassment at work

Valuing anonymity: workplace harassment reporting

Back to basics: a sexual harassment crib sheet

Back to basics: harassment and discrimination in the workplace


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