Increase in inappropriate behaviour in Belgian workplaces, says study

Increase in inappropriate behaviour in Belgian workplaces, says study

Credit: Belga / Paul-Henri Verlooy

Bullying, sexual harassment, assault, discrimination, etc. These abusive behaviours have increased considerably in the workplace in just one year, according to a study by human resources service provider Securex published on Tuesday. It remains to be seen whether these incidents are really more frequent or whether it is the perception of the behaviour that is changing.

According to the Securex survey of 1,500 employees, harassment is up by 28%, moral harassment by 14% and discrimination by 13%. Overall, 32% of Belgian employees say they have been confronted with one or more forms of abusive behaviour at work (+11% over one year). Another 21% say they have suffered aggression at work, while 17% say they have experienced bullying, 16% say they have been discriminated against and 5% even feel they have been subjected to unwanted sexual behaviour.

While these numbers are high, complaints are still very rare. “Less than one in 100 employees who feel they have been the victim of abusive behaviour at work will submit a request to their prevention and protection service at work,” says Securex.

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“The number of workers who declare that they have been subjected to such behaviour is increasing twice as fast as the number of workers who actually submit a request to an external service.

For Securex, the #Metoo movement is certainly not unrelated to the evolution concerning sexual harassment. “Not only are people more sensitive to anything that goes in the direction of sexual harassment, but they also dare to talk about it,” believes Hermin Van Coillie, HR Research Expert.

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