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  • Writer's pictureSusan Wakelin

Are night-time workers at more risk of harassment or unwanted behaviour from others?

Updated: May 25, 2023

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust recently conducted research into the levels of violence and aggressive, sexual and unwanted behaviour experienced by night-time workers in the workplace or on their way to work.

44% of women and 26% of men experience harassment at work

Research was conducted in aid of the National Personal Safety Day 2022, and focused on night-time workers who work at least three hours between 8:00 pm and 6:00 am, which is when the risk of harassment or unwanted behaviour is at its highest.

What are the levels of harassment / unwanted conduct for night-workers?

Results showed that 34% of those surveyed experienced some form of unwanted conduct at work or whilst travelling to work, and 15% of those experiencing unwanted conduct were subjected to sexual harassment.

60% of those experiencing unwanted conduct, did not report the behaviour to their employer, and three quarters did not report harassment or unwanted conduct to the police.

Research showed that the majority of harassment and unwanted conduct goes unreported to the employer or to the police, with the most common reasons being that the report would not be taken seriously, that no action would be taken and that nothing would change.

What can employers do to support night-workers from unwanted attention?

Although employers have a duty of care for their employees, this survey suggests that more can be done to ensure that employees are free from violence, aggression and harassment in the workplace.

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust has therefore made formal recommendations for change, and are supporting the Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill, to ensure that employers take reasonable steps to stop workplace sexual harassment.

The Bill is currently going through the House of Commons and will require employers to publish a Personal Safety Policy, detailing how they protect their workers from violence, aggression and harassment. The Bill will put an obligation on employers to actively prevent sexual harassment and make employers liable for third-party harassment.

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