Mandatory sexual harassment training announced for hospitality industry

The State Government is providing focused funding to support innovative prevention initiatives that tackle the prevalence of sexual violence.

The South Australian Government has announced that it will work towards introducing mandatory industry-wide training targeting the protection of hospitality workers and patrons from sexual harassment.

The State Government will soon be hosting consultations with both industry and the wider community regarding the incorporation of bystander intervention training as part of workers’ responsible service of alcohol (RSA) training.

They will also be consulting on the implementation of training that focuses specifically on the prevention and support of victims of drink spiking.

Katrine Hildyard MP, Minister for Women, has said that the government is ready to use everything in their power to stop sexual violence at its roots.

“Our Government is determined to use every lever we have to address gender inequality and the misogynistic, disrespectful attitudes that lead to sexual harassment and sexual violence,” Hildyard said.

“Implementing bystander intervention training is about doing just that in ways that provide more support for women and girls, and reiterates that sexual violence of any kind has no place in our community.”

The Australian Hotels’ Association’s new bystander intervention program was officially launched on Thursday morning at the National Wine Centre which will be available to its approximately 600 members.

The training aims to help staff identify and respond to sexual harassment and other non-consensual behaviour in order to create safer environments for hospitality workers and patrons.

The proposed training is an answer to the feedback from the Equal Opportunity Commissioner, the United Workers Union and What Were You Wearing Australia including during consultation on the Late Night Code.

It has also been created in response to the release of the Not So Hospitable: Sexual Harassment in the Adelaide Hospitality Industry report published by Jamie Bucirde and the University of Melbourne.

Andrea Michaels MP, Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs, shared some words at the launch where she commended the AHA for their effort in tackling the matter.

“Sexual harassment is completely unacceptable and I commend the AHA for the work they have done to support their members to address this serious issue,” she said.

“The Malinauskas Government wants to ensure this training is available more broadly to help stamp it out across the sector.

“Mandatory bystander training would help empower hospitality workers to identify and respond to sexual harassment as well as play a role in changing disrespectful attitudes toward women which contribute to making them unsafe.”

The state government will soon announce consultations around the mandatory training and the way forward.

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