Jamaica’s Sexual Harassment Act takes effect July 3

June 14, 2023  –JIS News- Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sport, Hon. 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 sensitize employees, employers, tenants, landlords and others ahead of the implementation of the law. 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 sensitizations with companies across Jamaica. In addition to that, we have our help line, which is widely publicized, and it is not just for women but also for men,” she added.

The Minister informed that in two weeks, she will take the membership of the tribunal to Cabinet 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 sensitization sessions with the public.

The Bureau has also been assisting organizations to develop or revise the anti-sexual harassment policies, in keeping with the law.

In recent times, 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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