Companies have an obligation to take measures to prevent this type of conduct. The first measure is that every company with more than 20 workers must form an intervention committee.
Gender violence affects women in a transversal way, being able to be present not only at home, but also in different areas of their lives and constantly through their development.
In 2018, the Ministry of Labor and Employment Promotion (MTPE) declared the recognition of the National Day for the fight against sexual harassment in the workplace, which is commemorated on February 27 with the aim of eradicating this type of act. that usually affect women in terms of their interpersonal relationships at work, which does not deny that we may be facing cases of sexual harassment in the workplace that are committed against men.
What should we understand by sexual harassment?
In May 2022, the National Superintendence of Labor Inspection (Sunafil) issued the Inspection Protocol on Sexual Harassment, in which it defined sexual harassment as all sexual or sexist conduct (which must be differentiated in that the first leads to acts of sexual nature, while the second implies carrying out discriminatory behaviors against a person of a certain sex, reinforcing stereotypes that suppose their subordination to the other sex) directed against a person who does not want it and that can create a hostile environment or intimidating, or affect their work and non-work activities, without the need to prove that this conduct has been rejected by the victim or that it has occurred repeatedly.
It is important to keep in mind that companies have an obligation to take measures to prevent this type of conduct. In accordance with Supreme Decree No. 014-2019-MIMP, the first preventive measure consists of the duty of every company that has more than 20 workers to form an Intervention Committee against Sexual Harassment.
The purpose of this committee is to investigate the complaints or complaints received, issue sanction recommendations and take any other additional measures to prevent future cases of this type. In the case of workplaces with less than 20 workers, the Intervention Committee against Sexual Harassment will be made up of a single delegate.
Another preventive measure that labor institutions must adopt is to train their members on sexual harassment at the beginning of the employment, training, contractual relationship, among any other authority or dependency.
Likewise, training must be given annually for the Human Resources area or the one that fulfills its function, as well as for the Intervention Committee against Sexual Harassment or the one that fulfills its function.
The objective of these trainings is none other than to sensitize workers about the importance of preventing and combating sexual harassment, as well as informing about the proper treatment of victims and the procedure that must be followed when identifying a case of this type. .
It should be noted that annual training is not required of micro and small businesses. In the same way, all institutions have the duty to periodically disseminate to their workers the information that allows them to identify the behaviors that they denounce.
But how should we proceed in a case of sexual harassment in the workplace? The first thing we must do if we are victims of an act of sexual harassment or if we become aware of one, is to present the respective complaint, written or verbal, before the body previously designated by the labor institution, which is usually the Human Resources office. .
If the person complaining is the victim, the act must be read in which the rights that assist him as a complainant are indicated, which he must sign. If the alleged harassing person is the head of the body that receives the complaint, the latter must file with her immediate superior.
In this regard, we must consider that the institutions have to keep the identity of the alleged harassed person confidential from those who are not part of the procedure. From this moment on, the Human Resources office must forward the complaint, within one business day, to the Intervention Committee against Sexual Harassment.
This committee will have 15 calendar days to investigate the reported facts, and must issue, at the end of this period, a report with the conclusions reached, presenting it to the Human Resources office or the one that fulfills its function for these cases, within one day. skilled.
After that, within 10 calendar days, the office in charge will put an end to the internal procedure, establishing the sanction for the accused if he is found responsible or acquitting him of being the case.
We must bear in mind that, once the complaint is received, the body that received it must issue protection measures in no more than three business days. These measures may consist, without being limited to what is indicated, in rotating the place of the alleged harasser, in temporarily suspending him, among others.
These measures will remain in force until the decision that puts an end to the procedure is issued. Another alternative that is offered to the victims of this type of act is to resort to Sunafil in order to present their complaint, this entity having to verify that the company has taken the stipulated prevention measures, as well as the development of the procedure against the denounced acts (which, if not carried out, will constitute a very serious infraction), being able to impose fines in case of non-compliance with the stipulated norms.
Finally, in the event that the company does not start the procedure, the complainant may be dismissed, demanding payment of compensation for arbitrary dismissal.
If you believe that you are the victim of a situation of sexual harassment in the workplace, or if you are a witness to it, the MTPE makes the 1819 line available to everyone, which you can call if you need help, just like the numbers 971027467, 984835168 and the website https://trabajasinacoso.trabajo.gob.pe/tesths/inicio.
Working in a harassment-free environment is a right that belongs to all of us and that must be guaranteed by employers.
Source: The Peruvian
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