Big support for Sexual Harassment Bill

Big support for Sexual Harassment Bill

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

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Jamaicans who believe Parliament should pass the Sexual Harassment Bill far outnumber those who say the proposed legislation is not necessary.

Those are the findings of the latest survey conducted by pollster Bill Johnson for the Jamaica Observer.

Johnson's team of researchers went into the field July 9-12, 2020 and canvassed the views of 1,200 voting-age Jamaicans. The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus 2.5 per cent.

When the researchers asked people to say whether Parliament should pass the Bill or not, 85 per cent of respondents said yes, nine per cent said it was not necessary, while six per cent said they don't know.

A number of organisations have already appeared before the joint select committee reviewing the draft Sexual Harassment Bill which addresses concerns about sexual harassment — primarily those which are employment-related, occurring in institutions, or arising in landlord and tenant relationships. It also outlines the conduct that constitutes sexual harassment and related behaviours.

First charted by former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller during her stint as minister of labour, the Bill is now being reviewed and amended by the Government under the supervision of Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia “Babsy” Grange.

The Jamaican Bar Association and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce had made a joint submission to the committee but the lawyers seemed set on retaining the Industrial Disputes Tribunal to handle the cases, while the chamber was willing to accept an independent body “with some tightening up”.

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