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Home  »   National Association of Women PharmacistsLatest News   »   PDA urges the government to not backtrack on sexual harassment laws

PDA urges the government to not backtrack on sexual harassment laws

MPs have made more than 40 amendments to the prospective bill, meaning that the bill may not be passed in the allotted time.

Fri 28th April 2023 The PDA

After it was announced that MPs have recently made multiple amendments to the Worker Protection Bill, many of which aim to make the bill more lenient, the PDA has urged the government to not backtrack on its promise to strengthen sexual harassment laws at work.

The purpose of the bill is to amend the Equality Act 2010 to make employers liable for harassment of their employees by clients, customers, and other third parties and to introduce a specific duty on employers to take all reasonable steps to prevent the sexual harassment of their employees.

With reports of sexual harassment still occurring in all industries, including pharmacy, the PDA believes it’s important that the government does as much as possible to protect employees, including by passing the Worker Protection Bill.

Ayah Abbass, the President of NAWP said, “The reason why I joined NAWP is to help women pharmacists find their voices and to find a safe space to raise their concerns in the workplace.

It’s concerning that sexual harassment at work is still happening. I have spoken to female pharmacists that sadly went through sexual harassment during their pre-registration (trainee) period when they are at a vulnerable stage of their career and worried about whistleblowing as it might impact their training and qualifying. Sexual harassment still exists sadly. We should feel safe at our workplace – it’s our basic right. Sexual harassment is very serious as it can impact an individual’s life mentally and physically. This is a bold statement, but I can guarantee every woman pharmacist has sadly been affected by sexual harassment.

We deserve to be protected and to feel safe. A safe space at work should not be difficult. We need policies in place so that women feel safe when reporting sexual harassment and believe that the correct action will take place.”

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), the national centre for British trade unions, released a statement from the TUC General Secretary, Paul Nowak.

Paul Nowak said, “It would be utterly shameful if the government allows this bill to fall. Ministers promised to bring in new laws to tackle sexual harassment. But are now backsliding under pressure from backbenchers.

Rishi Sunak must not abandon vulnerable staff. These protections are essential.”

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