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The question Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is becoming an increasingly important issue for employers and staff alike. This week we ask: If you witnessed sexual harassment at work, what would you do about it?

I would immediately become involved and try to support the person being harassed.

However, this is an unwise course of action. It should be possible within a well run company for anyone who considers that they are being harassed to initiate a proper procedure to ensure that the incident is fully investigated by senior management, after which disciplinary action will be taken if necessary.

Susan Ferguson, project manager, Norfolk

Immediately bring to attention of personnel director and get my report written up for disciplinary procedure.

Graeme Ford, retired director, consultant

As it is difficult to know what an individual sees as harassment I would not take any action immediately. If I thought the person was concerned about their treatment I would discuss it with them one to one and ask if they would like me to intervene.

Michael Brown, 28, research associate, Sheffield

There is no excuse for sexual harassment at work.

Sometimes it is treated as a joke or 'a bit of a laugh' by the perpetrator but it is no joke to the victim who is often seriously upset and humiliated.

It shows a lack of respect and is degrading. There should be no place for it in society.

Intentional harassment is a criminal offence. My employers treat it very seriously and have produced a policy for dealing with it. If I witnessed an incident, I would advise the victim and the perpetrator of the policy that I would be a witness in any formal investigation if a complaint were to be made. I would hope the perpetrator would realise the consequences of their actions and stop, but I would also hope that the victim would have the confidence to make a complaint if it continued.

Gary Underhill, senior engineer, Rugby

Intervene personally to prevent harassment from continuing and report to management.

Michael McConnell, senior engineer, Belfast

I hope I would have the courage to tackle the matter head on and challenge the offender.

Martin Sachs, 48, highways engineer, East London

The simple answer is 'I don't know' as I would find it difficult to identify if it were harassment. However, if I was sure I would speak with the perpetrator and warn them to desist, or report the matter to the HR dept who should know how best to deal with it.

Colin Sherwood, principal engineer, Hong Kong

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