RNZ Allegations Of Sexual Harassment

September 21st, 2020 - Barbara Buckett

Senior RNZ staffer returns to work after allegations of inappropriate behaviour upheld:

This week the Herald reported that a senior staff member at RNZ had been stood down after allegations of sexual harassment. This was not the first time the public broadcaster had been aware of such behaviours in its workplace.

The complaint described the perpetrator as a “creepy man who preyed on young vulnerable women”. Further she reported it was “not a well-kept secret” .

Clearly, the workplace provided unchecked opportunities for the predatory behaviour.

It was not as the CEO asserted a workplace of zero tolerance for such behaviour and the Dignity at Work policy referred by the CEO was clearly a lame document drafted more to make RNZ look good  rather than actually address  the systemic unsafe and unhealthy work environmental issues.

Until organisations “walk the talk” these behaviours will continue to occur.

Codes of silence and cover ups will do nothing to engender cultural and behavioural changes. It beggars believe that  in this case the perpetrator having been found to have behaved sexually inappropriately was returned to work with the complainant under the guise of the “framework of employment legislation and obligations to “our people”.

What is RNZ thinking. How could it get the law so wrong? It had a superior duty of care to protect the safety of the complainant not the perpetrator.

If it is zero tolerance and the policy say so, then that is it.  One strike and you are out.  Such offending goes  to the heart of the employment relationships. Shame on you RNZ. Publicly funded organisations should  lead by example.

The MEtoo movement has made it clear what decent New Zealanders demand . The law ought to be interpreted in the context of the rule of law as expressed by the New Zealand public. Sexual predation has no place in our workplace.

Leadership comes from the top. Culture and ethos of workplaces will not change whilst there is tolerance.

Buckett Law are specialists Employment Lawyers in Wellington, that provide strong representation and positive outcomes for both employers and employees.

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Barbara Buckett

Barbara Buckett is a highly experienced senior employment lawyer with over 35 years of practice in New Zealand. She provides expert advice on all areas of employment law and has a proven track record of delivering excellent results for clients. Barbara has extensive experience in resolving workplace issues and is an experienced litigator. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, working out, and fine wine and dining with friends.

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