26 Jun 2006

Fiji meeting told sexual harassment bad ofr business

4:08 pm on 26 June 2006

The Institute of Accountants in Fiji has been told that sexual harassment is not only bad for business, but the country as a whole.

Provisions to strengthen the law against sexual harassment are contained in the Employment Relations Bill that has now gone to the Committee stage in the Lower House and is due back for final debate in September.

Speaking at a meeting of the Accountant's Institute Congress over the weekend, a leading women's rights advocate called for business leaders to back the new bill.

A representative of the Pacific Rights Resource Team, Gina Houng Lee, says sexual harassment can hit business through high staff turn over and possible legal action.

But she says the new legislation is needed to help change societal attitudes as well:

"From the workplace that is the kind of standard that we would be setting. It would still to open to society in a sense to say 'this conduct is not acceptable, it's unwelcome' and at the same time it can indirectly affect and change attitudes out in the community."

The senior resource trainer at the Pacific Rights Resource Team, Gina Houng Lee,