ARA partners with Australian Human Rights Commission to deliver vital course 

Australia’s peak retail body, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), has proudly partnered with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) to launch a vital course for retail and hospitality managers to combat workplace sexual harassment.

The Understanding and Addressing Workplace Sexual Harassment for Retail and Hospitality Managers course is designed to educate retailers on the impact and drivers of workplace sexual harassment and aid them in addressing it when it occurs.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said addressing the issue of sexual harassment is a top priority for retailers.

“With women making up two-thirds of the retail workforce, this is an incredibly important issue for our sector,” Mr Zahra said.

“Everyone deserves the right to feel safe and protected within their professional environment.

“As the largest private sector employer in the country, retail has a vital role to play in setting an example and leading the agenda on action against sexual harassment – and this course, in collaboration with the Australian Human Rights Commission – will help retailers do just that.

“Our experience with retailers so far has been that they have a very strong appetite to further develop safe and respectful workplaces – but they simply need the resources to make it happen.

“We are also mindful that sexual harassment can come from customers, and all genders can be susceptible to sexual harassment at work.”

Mr Zahra said the purpose of the course is to change the approach to sexual harassment from reactive to proactive.

“Rather than taking action when sexual harassment happens, we want retailers to act before it happens.”

This comprehensive course delves into the concept of the positive duty outlined in the Sex Discrimination Act of 1984.

This duty imposes a mandate on organisations and businesses to adopt reasonable and proportionate measures aimed at eradicating relevant unlawful conduct to the best of their abilities.

The focal point is on proactively instigating systemic change by preventing unlawful conduct before it has a chance to occur rather than merely reacting after harm has already transpired.

The course is self-paced, allowing individuals to undertake at a time that suits them and a must for all retail and hospitality supervisors and managers.

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