More than half of all voters in the key marginal seats of Bass (TAS), Chisholm (VIC) and Macquarie (NSW) believe that the Morrison Government has not done enough to help reduce sexual harassment in workplaces – a fact that could harm their election prospects significantly.
According to polling conducted for the ACTU a huge proportion of voters in those seats – 83.2 per cent – think that the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace is important or very important.
The bill the government plans to bring forward for a vote this week excludes some of the major reforms recommended by the Respect@Work report, such as a prohibition on sexual harassment at work supported by an easy complaints process in the Fair Work Commission, and a positive duty on employers to actively take steps to stamp out sexual harassment.
This is despite the majority of voters (55.9 per cent) in these seats wanting the Morrison Government to act on all of the reforms recommended by the Respect@Work report. This includes significant support among Liberal and undecided voters.
The union movement calls upon the Morrison Government to respect what voters and independent experts are calling for: take women’s health and safety in the workplace seriously, and implement all of the recommendations put forward in the Respect@Work report.
Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil,
“The message from voters to the Prime Minister is clear; take the recommendations in the Respect@Work report seriously and implement them all.
“Unlike the Morrison Government, which has been dragged to action on this issue and is now trying to do the bare minimum rather than implementing the recommendations of its own report, voters think that sexual harassment in the workplace is an important issue, and one which may swing their vote.
“Just shy of one-third of voters (29.6 per cent) in Bass, Chisholm and Macquarie said that they’d change their vote if their MP didn’t support all recommendations in the Respect@Work report, including significant numbers of Liberal and undecided voters. All Australians –regardless of their age, gender, or how they might vote – are taking the issue of sexual harassment very seriously, and so should their representatives in Parliament.
“Given these results, pursuing its current response to the Respect@Work report could have serious electoral consequences for the Morrison Government.”