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Taking a Stand: South Australia Mandates Sexual Harassment Training for Hospitality Workers

South Australia has taken a significant step towards creating safer workplaces in the hospitality industry. The state government announced plans to introduce mandatory sexual harassment training for all hospitality workers. This move comes after concerning reports highlighting the prevalence of sexual harassment within Adelaide's bars, restaurants, and cafes.

restaurant staff working

Industry Collaboration for Lasting Change

The training will be developed in consultation with industry leaders and the broader community. This collaborative approach ensures the program addresses the specific needs and challenges faced by hospitality workers. The government is also considering incorporating the training into the existing Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) program, making it a seamless part of the licensing process.

Empowering Bystanders and Changing Attitudes

The sexual harassment training will focus on empowering hospitality staffs in Australia to identify and respond to sexual harassment. This includes bystander intervention techniques, allowing employees to intervene in situations where they witness inappropriate behaviour.

Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs Andrea Michaels emphasised the importance of this training in shifting attitudes. "Mandatory bystander training would help change disrespectful attitudes towards women which contribute to making them unsafe," Michaels said.

A Call for Continued Action

The announcement has been met with praise from advocates who have long called for better protections for hospitality workers. Jamie Bucirde, founder of the organisation Not So Hospitable, welcomed the news but stressed the need for ongoing efforts. "We are not there yet," Bucirde said. "We must keep pushing to ensure we provide our future hospitality staff as well as current ones, the education and training they deserve."

This initiative by the South Australian government sets a strong precedent for creating safer and more respectful workplaces across the hospitality industry. By equipping staff with the knowledge and skills to identify and respond to sexual harassment, this training program has the potential to create a lasting positive impact.

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