Women and gender diverse people in the ACT face far greater rates of workplace violence than men, a new union survey has found.
One in three women and gender diverse people reported experiencing workplace violence, while fewer than one in five men experience the same.
A Unions ACT survey of more than 1000 workers found 81.3 per cent of women and gender diverse workers reported being subject to verbal abuse or bullying at work, while 67.1 per cent of all survey respondents felt sexualised or had experienced sexual harassment.
Less than 65 per cent of respondents said their workplace took a zero-tolerance approach to sexism and homophobia.
Around four in five public service employees surveyed said they had experienced sexist or gendered comments and jokes, compared to 77.5 per cent of all workers surveyed.
Only half of those who experienced gendered workplace violence reported it to their employer.
Nearly 60 per cent of respondents were able to identify hazards in their workplaces which could cause injury or illness. More than 40 per cent said those hazards related to gendered violence.
More than 75 per cent of workers reported feeling stressed at work while nearly half of respondents said they had considered leaving or had resigned from a job due to gendered violence, the survey found.
Education and training sector workers were the most likely to be stressed and subject to violence at work, with 90.2 per cent reporting feeling stressed and
Managers and bosses made 42.2 per cent of respondents feel uncomfortable, unsafe or at risk at work.
The survey was sponsored by the Australian Education Union, the National Tertiary Education Union and the NSW ACT Independent Education Union.
More than half of those surveyed were full-time workers, while 66.8 per cent of respondents were female and 69.9 per cent over the age of 35.
The survey defined gendered violence as "any behaviour, directed at or affecting any person, because of their gender or sexual orientation, that creates a risk to health and safety, creates economic harm or the expectation that one should tolerate violence or harm for reasons related to their gender".
The unions body has called on the ACT government to strengthen the Work Health and Safety Act, bolstering regulation around workplace gendered violence and psychosocial hazards.
Unions ACT president Maddy Northam said the survey results were shocking, even though they backed up anecdotal reports, and the government needed to provide better protections for workers.
The ACT government should work with unions and stakeholders to develop a code of practice to better protect workers' rights, she said.
"We know that when bosses are accountable, we do see better outcomes. But it also means that the fabulous staff at WorkSafe ACT are better equipped to go in and handle situations like this," Ms Northam said.
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Unions ACT has also called for workplace rights training, including information on gendered violence, in the secondary school curriculum.
Ms Northam said high school-aged people were entering their first workplaces and needed to be better equipped to deal with risks on the job.
"[We want] to try and have the next generation eliminate this violence at work. If we can train people from a young age, I think we've got a shot at it," she said.
A spokesman for the ACT government said the survey threw further evidence behind the need for actions the government was already taking.
"The ACT government is already progressing a range of reforms to strengthen our responses to gendered violence and psychosocial hazards," the spokesman said.
"The Work Health and Safety Commissioner has formed a targeted team to work on these solutions."
Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety Mick Gentleman said in May the government was already working on a code of practice to manage psychosocial hazards, including bullying and workplace sexual harassment.
"Bullying, harassment and sexual harassment are never okay - they are health hazards that must be managed under work health and safety duties," Mr Gentleman said at the time.
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