Workers who have experienced workplace sexual harassment need clear, up-to-date, relevant and easily accessible information to help them come to terms with their experiences and to enforce their rights.

If a worker has experienced workplace sexual harassment, there are a range of options that may be available to them to address that behaviour. For example, they can report the behaviour directly to their supervisor or human resources area at work, with their employer or workplace determining how the matter will be handled.

Alternatively, the worker may choose to have the matter handled by someone outside of their workplace. For example, they may decide to use an external pathway, such as making a formal complaint about the workplace sexual harassment to an external agency.

This tool is focused on providing information about certain organisations (external avenues) that may be able to help you if you have experienced workplace sexual harassment. As you go through the tool, you will be asked a series of questions about your situation. If at any time you find the process upsetting or you feel unsafe, you can phone the police on 000, 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 for 24 hour support for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse or Lifeline for crisis support on 13 11 14. A list of support services is provided below.

For each answer you give, a response will be provided with information about the external avenues that may be available to you. You may wish to keep track of the information provided and can do so by taking notes as you go through each question. The process may take approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

Please note, the information provided is of a general nature only. Much of it has been summarised and is therefore not an exhaustive statement of the law or the jurisdictions and functions of the external avenues mentioned. For more information about each of these external avenues and their relevant jurisdictions, you can go to the external pathways page sand download national and/or state/territory guides.

This tool is not a substitute for independent professional advice. The responses provided are for information purposes only and are not intended to discourage you from seeking help. For tailored advice, please see the legal and advocacy services listed in the support services provided below.

Understanding your options

If you have experienced workplace sexual harassment, there may be several options available to you to seek help depending on your individual circumstances. For example, you may be able to:  

  • Seek support, advice and advocacy from a range of different services, such as legal assistance and mental health and well-being support services.
  • Lodge a sexual harassment complaint with an anti-discrimination or human rights body.
  • Lodge an application in relation to a stop sexual harassment order (or a stop bullying and sexual harassment order), general protections, unlawful termination or unfair dismissal with the Fair Work Commission.
  • Lodge an application with a state industrial relations body if you have been unfairly dismissed because of the workplace sexual harassment or, in Western Australia specifically, apply for an order to stop bullying or sexual harassment.
  • Lodge a workers’ compensation claim with your employer or through a workers’ compensation organisation if the workplace sexual harassment has caused you physical or mental injury or illness.
  • Report the workplace sexual harassment as a work health and safety (WHS) issue to a WHS regulator.
  • Report the workplace sexual harassment to police if you believe criminal conduct has occurred.

To identify which option may be relevant to you, please carefully read through each question and choose the answer that best reflects your individual circumstances.