Thursday, 30 June 1994
Dáil Éireann Debate
9. Mr. Cullen asked the Minister for Equality and Law Reform if a code of practice on sexual harassment in the workplace has yet been drawn up; the progress, if any, he has made in his plans to implement such a code; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The draft code has been compiled by the agency, based on broad consultation and agreement among employer bodies  and trade unions, and is currently being examined in my Department. I intend to have the draft code published shortly, in line with the commitment given in the Programme for Competitiveness and Work. It will then be promoted, monitored and reviewed by the Employment Equality Agency which has considerable experience and expertise in advising workers and employers on the subject.
Implementation of the code will be on a voluntary basis. However, I propose to give it statutory recognition in the forthcoming employment equality legislation so that cases for decision by an equality officer, the Labour Court or civil courts could have due regard to the contents of the code.
Mr. Keogh: I am glad to hear the Minister say that the code is almost ready for implementation but I would like to know when it will be introduced? I look forward also to the implementation of the legislation to which he has referred. Is the code based on the EC code of conduct on the protection of the dignity of men and women at work? Was that taken into consideration?
Mr. Taylor: The code puts in place an appropriate Irish measure giving effect to the EC resolution on the protection of the dignity of men and women at work adopted by the Council of Ministers in May 1990. I hope the code will be published towards the end of next month. If it is not quite ready then it will be in September.
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