Reporting avenues are the options available to workers for reporting. Good practice includes providing a range of reporting options with multiple entry points.
Reporting avenues are the options available to workers through which they can raise concerns or report an incident of sexual harassment or other inappropriate workplace behaviour.
Respect@Work has information about Where to seek help to address workplace sexual harassment. There is also information about services, such as mental health and counselling services and legal services, that can also provide support.
Good practice includes providing a range of reporting options with multiple entry points to allow workers to choose how, when and to whom they wish to report, according to their own needs and expectations. This means, reporting avenues should be:
- flexible and include multiple internal options, both formal and informal, as well identification of available external reporting options
- clear, transparent, widely understood and easily accessible to all workers at all levels
- supportive, culturally appropriate and do not further marginalise or exclude vulnerable groups, and
- supported by a diverse group of people, of different genders and at different levels within your organisation, who are sufficiently skilled to receive complaints.
Examples of reporting avenues include:
Anonymous reporting can encourage reports from victims who may not want to formally report for fear of victimisation or traumatisation that might come from an investigation process. Anonymous reporting can occur in different ways including:
- secure mailbox where victims can submit their concerns in paper-based form
- digital platforms and technology (see below)
- existing whistleblowing reporting channels (see below).
Technology is offering greater flexibility in the way in which workers can report sexual harassment (including anonymously) through innovative online and app-based reporting tools. Please note that these tools are not free. Examples include:
- Safe2Say allows anonymous reporting of workplace misconduct or inappropriate behaviour through an independent integrity reporting whistleblowing platform
- The ‘STOPit’ app allows anonymous reporting through multiple modes
- Whispli a digital whistleblowing management system that allows victims to make anonymous reports and allows direct communication with the anonymous reporter to gain further information
- AllVoices anonymous reporting tool that has an encrypted messaging system to communicate with the reporter
Elker allows anonymous reporting, including through two-way chat.
Respect@Work does not endorse these tools or have any affiliation with them. They are provided here as examples of digital reporting tools currently available online.
Human Resources, Work Health & Safety Representatives, Contact Officers, Mental Health First Aid Officers
Individuals with specialist roles and expertise to receive sexual harassment complaints.
Immediate leaders or Senior leaders
This may be encouraged by an “open door policy” and inviting workers to drop in for discussions about any workplace incidents.
Workers may report (including anonymously) via existing whistleblowing reporting channels in your organisation.
Workers should be free to directly report concerns to relevant external agencies, such as the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Fair Work Commission and state and territory anti-discrimination bodies. Our interactive tool - Where to seek help if you have experienced workplace sexual harassment can help.