Sexual Harassment is a violation of fundamental human rights and adversely affects the working environment, undermines gender equality at work, creates unfair practices in employment, and negatively impacts the dignity and well-being of workers.
The Ministry of Labour and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago recognizes Sexual Harassment as an offense as it is unacceptable and unwelcomed behaviour in the workplace.
To this end, a National Workplace Policy on Sexual Harassment was developed, approved and acknowledged in Parliament on International Women’s Day, March 2019, falling under the purview of the Conciliation, Advisory and Advocacy Division (CAAD).
The CAAD has established a Helpline where all workers (men and women) can call in anonymously and report incidents of Sexual Harassment in the workplace.
The Helpline, 800-CAAD (2223), provides support to all victims of sexual harassment in the workplace including employers, employees and migrant workers. It is tri-lingual catering to persons speaking English, Spanish and French. Members of the public can access advice from staff who were trained to deal with victims given the sensitive and delicate nature of their claims in a very confidential manner. The helpline also allows persons to receive accurate information and get clarification on any matter as it relates to the rights and responsibilities of the Employer and the Employee in the workplace, specific to all issues arising out of sexual harassment claims.
What should I do if I am sexually harassed in the workplace?
- A direct approach- Confront the harasser and tell him/her that the behavior is not wanted, appreciated, or welcomed and that it must stop. Basically, ask the harasser to cease and desist from the particular action and make a report to the designated person in the organization.
- Report the behavior to the relevant authorities within the workplace and ask for assistance in resolving the situation.
- Remember to keep records of dates, times, text messages, Whatsapp Messages (Take Screenshots before being deleted) photos, conversations and locations of all incidents that have occurred.
- Request assistance from another person if you are unable to deal with the situation.
- Filing a formal complaint- File a formal complaint in keeping with the employer’s policy and/or relevant authorities including the Police where applicable.
View the following video to hear from the Chief Labour Relations Officer of the CAAD on how to deal with Sexual Harassment in the workplace.
The CAAD provides training to various organizations, both public and private, on The National Workplace Policy on Sexual Harassment.
The objectives of these training sessions are to:
Raise awareness on the National Workplace Policy on Sexual Harassment
Provide guidance on actions that may be taken
Encourage the initiation and/or promotion of a workplace policy on Sexual Harassment
To increase awareness about the CAAD's services in treating with sexual harassment.
These training sessions can either be in person, virtually or a combination of both.
Some of the organizations who received training thus far include:
- Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies
- Estate Police Association
- The Regulated Industries Commission
- Airports Authority
- Tobago House of Assembly
- Ryu Dan Empowerment Foundation
- Living Waters Community
- Habitat for Humanity
To contact the Conciliation, Advisory and Advocacy Division:
- Levels 5 & 6, Duke Place, 50-54 Duke Street, Port of Spain
- Telephone: 299-0300 ext. 2043
- Helpline: 800-CAAD (2223)