Research perspectives

Retail staff report “inappropriate behaviour”at work

In a survey of over one thousand retail staff commissioned by law firm Foot Anstey and Survation, 11 per cent said they had experienced inappropriate touching of a sexual nature while at work from either a colleague or a customer. Of those who reported seeing or experiencing such behaviour 51 per cent said a colleague was involved while 27 per cent reported it coming from a customer. The survey also found that 36 per cent of those who reported experiencing such behaviour believed their employer could have done more to prevent it happening.

47 per cent of the staff surveyed reported hearing sexual, racist, homophobic or other highly offensive language in the workplace, again coming from both colleagues and customers. Many also reported bullying and inappropriate behaviour by managerial or senior staff. The research also revealed that 22 per cent said there were no anonymous HR reporting mechanisms at their workplace where they could raise concerns about inappropriate or offensive behaviours.