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RETAIL ENVIRONMENT

Retail report highlights inappropriate behaviour

With gender politics high on the political and business agendas in the wake of the #MeToo campaign, a new study has revealed that one in 10 retail workers – equal to 319,000 staff – have experienced inappropriate touching of a sexual nature in their current workplace.

UK law firm Foot Anstey also found an equal gender split, with 11 per cent of both male and females experiencing inappropriate touching.

A total of 36 per cent – more than one third - of the study blame their employer for not doing enough.

Meanwhile, 31 per cent of males in the retail sector have experienced physically aggressive or violent behaviour in the workplace, compared to 23 per cent of women.

A total of 25 per cent of retail workers have experienced physically aggressive or violent behaviour and 26 per cent have experienced unwanted touching or hugging in their current place of work.

Moreover, 41 per cent of employees surveyed said they were dissatisfied with the outcome when they raised a complaint with their current employer about inappropriate behaviour.

Meanwhile, almost half said they’d heard sexual, racist, homophobic or other offensive language while at work.

When respondents were asked to share experiences of sexual harassment in the workplace, one revealed that a male colleague "made" them sit on his lap.

Another revealed: “I used to work in an establishment with two male colleagues who would be both verbally and physically sexually inappropriate. Unfortunately, due to their relationship with the senior staff, they both got away with it.”

One person said that a colleague of theirs “insists on touching people inappropriately’.

“She is older and so everyone dismisses it as funny,” they added. 

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