Free legal advice line launched to advise women on workplace harassment
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A legal advice line providing advice to women who have experienced sexual harassment at work has been launched by Harry Potter star and women’s rights activist Emma Watson. The free service will be run by the legal charity Rights of Women and is backed by Time’s Up UK and managed by Rosa, the UK Fund for Women and Girls.
The phone line is the first of its type in the UK and will be staffed by volunteers and specialist employment lawyers. Users of the service will be able to get legal advice on issues such as what behaviour constitutes sexual harassment, how to bring a grievance against an employer, how to make a claim in an Employment Tribunal and settlement agreements and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).
The line has been funded from public donations, with Watson injecting £1 million into the project.
She said: “Understanding what your rights are, how you can assert them and the choices you have if you’ve experienced harassment is such a vital part of creating safe workplaces for everyone, and this advice line is such a huge development in ensuring that all women are supported, wherever we work.”
Senior legal rights officer at Rights of Women, Deeba Syed, commented: “This advice line’s purpose is to empower women to exercise their legal rights in the workplace. By advising women about their legal options and increasing their understanding of equalities and discrimination law, we will be able to help them make informed choices about next steps, including how to navigate the legal system with confidence.”
Recent research from the Trades Union Congress found that as many as one in two women have experienced sexual harassment at work, and four out of five don’t feel like they can report it to their employer.
You can call the advice line on 020 7490 0152.