Media Releases

SA hospo industry groups have head in the sand over sexual harassment and exploitation

October 13, 2022

Industry groups in SA are refusing to fund a much-needed inquiry into harassment & exploitation in the hospitality industry.

Yesterday, inDaily reported on Equal opportunity Commissioner Jodeen Carney's calls for an inquiry, this comes after earlier calls from some individual hospo workers and a minority of venue owners.

Employers have an obligation under the Work Health and Safety Act to take action to identify and remediate workplace hazards. Ms Carney was troubled by some hospitality industry groups who were resistant to provide support for an inquiry, citing a lack of data on sexual harassment and assault in the industry.

The United Workers Union, which represents hospitality workers has already been surveying its members, uncovering sometimes traumatic instances of bullying, to enforce workplace safety obligations.

"I worked in kitchens for over a decade. It was a mostly rewarding career, but I also saw awful behaviour and experienced it myself. An inquiry into exploitation and harassment in the industry was needed then, and it's needed now."

"It's time for the hospitality industry to open their eyes to the obvious exploitation and harassment issues and step up to fix this once and for all."

"We shouldn't have to remind hospo employers of their basic obligations to provide a safe workplace for their staff, and they shouldn't be allowed to drag their heels on identifying workplace hazards."

"If the Hospitality industry is allowed to keep their heads in the sand, we'll never see any action, and hospitality workers will continue to face exploitation, sexual harassment and assault at work."