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No return to the ‘old normal’

  • While some semblance of normality is likely to return in due course, the precise form of that return to routine remains far from certain.

  • Of 1,250 British respondents quizzed for their views, widespread apprehension was recorded relating to ‘pent up‘ emotions built up over months of lockdown.

  • Acknowledging that social distancing measures are likely to translate into fewer instances of physical harassment, the report considers the pessimist‘s side of the coin – in that fewer staff may make individuals more vulnerable.

  • Such concerns are compounded by the fact that a third of respondents were unsure of their employer‘s stance toward sexual harassment.

  • Stepping into the breac,h TimeTo will offer a range of training courses designed to bridge such gaps in knowledge, arming participants with an understanding of how sexual harassment may manifest itself when working remotely or in a hybrid environment.

  • TimeTo has also modernised its code of conduct to include guidance for employers and employees switching to virtual and hybrid working.

  • TimeTo has also reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring that any ‘new normal‘ does not include any form of harassment.

 

A problem that hasn’t just ‘gone away’

  • Warning that the pandemic has merely hidden entrenched issues, not resolved them, Lucky Generals founder and TimeTo steering group member Helen Calcraft said: “Just because the people who perpetrate sexual harassment have been away for a while doesn’t mean the problem has gone away. 

  • “This research shows that a lot of people in our industry are scared to come back to the office, and this is wrong. It also shows they want this issue tackled.“

  • Stephen Woodford, chief executive of the Advertising Association, chipped in: “2020 has been a tumultuous year and we are determined that we make good on our collective ambition to build back better. This has to include a renewed approach to ensure our workplaces are ones that are safe and can be enjoyed by all, without any fear of sexual harassment.”

  • The campaign is supported by the ISBA and IPA, who acknowledge that sexual harassment is a problem that must be addressed through collective action by the entire advertising and marketing industry.