'Enough of these dinosaur views' - Government's plan to tackle workplace sexual harassment

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1 NEWS

1 NEWS has exclusive details of the government's plan to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace.

It comes after employees at law firm Russell McVeagh were accused of inappropriate behaviour towards student interns.
Source: 1 NEWS

It comes after employees at law firm Russell McVeagh's Wellington office were accused of inappropriate behaviour towards student interns.

Green Party MP Jan Logie is one government politician particularly passionate about the cause - herself a survivor of sexual assault.

"It really is an age old question and you know it's a call for 'time's up'. Enough of these kind of dinosaur views and misuses of power," Ms Logie says.

She'll be working with the Ministers of justice, workplace relations, sate services and women.

"We are going to look at everything that we can do to make sure that our workplaces are safe," Ms Logie said.

"That victims are supported to go through a process where they feel the outcome is positive and that the people using violence are held to account and that we prevent further violence."

The Employment Act and the Humans Rights Act will be reviewed.

Worksafe is also being asked to investigate what assistance it can offer employers.

And business leaders also like the idea.

"Worksafe could provide some effective guidelines and assistance to help employers to make sure that sexual harassment doesn't happen in the workplace," Business NZ's Kirk Hope said.

The international Me Too movement is giving many women the power to speak out.

This week, Russell McVeagh was forced to face up to allegations of sexual harassment by staff against university students.

"We continue to be very sorry about what happened and that if they need any help or support, we're here for them, our door is always open," Russell McVeagh partner Pip Greenwood said.

The law firm Bell Gully also dealt with an incident in 2016, which they today told 1 NEWS clients had raised with them.

And while those firms say they have protocols and practices in place to deal with such incidents, Ms Logie is worried that many workplaces don't, and will only respond when the damage has already been done.

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