Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sport, Olivia Grange, says the commencement date of the Sexual Harassment Act is set for Monday, July 3, 2023.

Ms. Grange made the announcement during her contribution to the 2023/24 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 13.

The legislation addresses concerns about sexual harassment that are employment-related, occurring in institutions, or arising in the landlord and tenant relationship.

The Act contains provisions for dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace, schools, correctional institutions, places of safety, nursing homes, medical and psychiatric facilities, among other places.

“We continue to sensitise employees, employers, tenants, landlords and others ahead of the law’s implementation. At the same time, we have been working to put the mechanisms in place to investigate and adjudicate complaints of sexual harassment. This has included the recruitment of investigators and the appointment of the panel to hear each case,” Ms. Grange said.

“We have already hired four sexual harassment investigators. We have also done several sensitisations with companies across Jamaica. In addition, we have our helpline, which is widely publicised, and it is not just for women but also for men,” she added.

The Minister informed that she will take the tribunal membership to Cabinet in two weeks for approval.

“I use this opportunity to remind every employer and person in charge of an institution of their responsibility to ensure that the policy statement required under the Sexual Harassment Act is prepared and brought to the attention of each worker, client, student, resident, ward, inmate, patient or member, as the case may require, within 12 months of the commencement date,” Ms. Grange said.

She added that the Bureau of Gender Affairs has been holding sexual harassment sensitisation sessions with the public.

The Bureau has also been assisting organisations in developing or revising anti-sexual harassment policies in keeping with the law.

Recently, 18 gender focal points have been added to the network as the Government ramps up the mainstreaming of gender in public-sector bodies.

One major new outcome has been the gender certification of the JDF, in keeping with the National Policy for Gender Equality.


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