The Andrews Labor Government is calling out workplace violence that targets people because of their gender or sexual orientation with a new advertising campaign.
The WorkSafe campaign – ‘It comes in many forms’ – reminds viewers that gendered violence is never ‘just part of the job’ and employers have a duty to take all reasonable steps to prevent it.
Any behaviour that affects the health and safety of someone because of their gender, sexual orientation, or because they don’t conform to gender stereotypes is work-related gendered violence and is a serious occupational health and safety hazard.
It can include stalking, verbal abuse, unwelcome comments or gestures, or even threats or physical violence and can involve colleagues, supervisors, clients or customers.
Some workers are more likely to experience work-related gendered violence, including women, young workers, workers who are LGBTIQA+, from culturally diverse or migrant backgrounds, with disability, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers.
Sadly, many incidents still go unreported as victims may fear stigma or even losing their job if they speak up, particularly if they are already in insecure employment.
This campaign will generate more awareness about what isn’t appropriate and encourage Victorians to call out and report the behaviour when they see it in the workplace.
The Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2018 national survey found that one in three people had been sexually harassed at work in the previous five years, and that 83 per cent of incidents of workplace sexual harassment were not formally reported.
The campaign seeks to increase understanding and educate employers about their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to prevent and respond to gendered violence at work, as far as reasonably practicable.
The campaign will run from Sunday 12 June. For information about how to stop and prevent work-related gendered violence, including resources for employers and workers, visit
Quotes attributable to Minister for Workplace Safety Ingrid Stitt
“Every Victorian has the right to feel safe and respected at work, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.”
“Any form of work-related gendered violence is unacceptable and this campaign makes that clear. It’s never ok and employers have a duty to call it out.”
Quotes attributable to WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety Narelle Beer
“The harm caused by work-related gendered violence can end careers, damage mental health, ruin relationships, even destroy lives.”
“That’s why WorkSafe is putting employers on notice and reminding them of their obligation to ensure that sexism, homophobic comments, workplace aggression, and discriminatory language doesn't occur in the workplace.”
Reviewed 14 June 2022