Workplace harrassment can happen in any role but workplace harassment in the hospitality sector is 86% more likely than in any other industry.

A new report from NAVEX Global divulge some worrying statistics.  It states that 1 in 2 female HR directors think that their workplace is sexist and 86 % of harassment reports come from the hospitality sector which actually doesn’t surprise me having worked in the sector for many years.

It’s shocking though that it’s continuing even 18 months after the launch of #MeToo movement within the hospitality sector partly following on from the Presidents Club Charity Dinner held at the Dorchester Hotel, London.  Young female hostesses were reportedly “groped, sexually harassed and propositioned” over the course of the evening, bringing the vulnerabilities that can face hospitality workers the public eye.

When I worked in hospitality it was common practice for chefs to make lewd inappropriate comments at the pass to me and other female workers and that was the more timid of the behaviour that went on!

Nor is it just females that are victims. A gay waiter whilst working at the Michelin-starred Yauatcha in Soho, London had his nipples tweaked by a diner and he had been humiliated by two male managers simulating a sex act in front of him.  He took his employer to tribunal where he was awarded more than £20,000.

There is also evidence to show that there is a rising trend in the number of cases of both men and women harassing male employees.

It is the employer’s responsibility to make sure that the working environment is not offensive for any of their employees.

So, as an employer how can you reduce the risk of harassment in the workplace?

  • Ensure that you have taken reasonable steps to prevent it happening
  • Ensure that you have the correct polices in place
  • Ensure that you regularly review these policies
  • Ensure that you make these policies known and are accessible to all employees
  • Ensure that all employees are aware of how they can raise an issue
  • Ensure that all employees are trained on appropriate behaviour at work
  • Ensure that any complaints are dealt with the correct manner

If you would like any support or advice on any of the above, then please contact us.

To see the full report from NAVEX Global please click here

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