Critically examine the legal framework for sexual harassment in Malaysia and how it can be better improved: Business Ethics and Law Assignment, Malaysia
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|Business Ethics and Law Assignment
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a form of sex discrimination which negatively affects the working environment, undermines gender equality at work, creates unfair practices in employment, and adversely impacts the dignity and well-being of workers. It creates psychological anxiety and stress for victims and if ignored, can result in high costs for companies through loss of productivity, low worker morale, absenteeism, and staff turnover. Some countries have enacted legislation such as Harassment Act 1997 in New Zealand and Protection from Harassment Act, 1997 in United Kingdom which cover a wide range of harassment. In Australia, the Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Respect at Work) Act 2022 (Respect at Work Act) amended its sexual harassment framework imposing on all employers a direct legal obligation to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace.
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In addition to this companies have also taken steps to address sexual harassment. For example, IKEA has instituted a prohibition of workplace violence and harassment throughout its company and supply chain called the IKEA Way on Purchasing Products, Materials and Services (IWAY) Standard. The IWAY Standard applies to any seller, vendor or service provider supplying materials or services to the IKEA Group and covers all own-hired workers, on-site temporary workers, piece-rate workers and contracted workers, including migrant workers, trainees and workers on trial or probation.
In Malaysia a 2020 survey (n=1,010) by Vase.ai and Women’s Aid Organisation estimated that 62% of working women in Malaysia have experienced workplace sexual harassment. Although Malaysia has several laws relating to sexual harassment, but these often overlap and have gaps in them which does not adequately protect victims of sexual harassment.
Critically examine the legal framework for sexual harassment in Malaysia and how it can be better improved to address the issue of sexual harassment so as to create a safe system of work for all regardless of gender.
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