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Blog | 04 April 2024

The NHS Sexual Safety Charter

What is it and how can our training help you comply?

Back in September 2023, NHS England published its inaugural Sexual Safety Charter; a comprehensive roadmap to promote and ensure staff safety, and provide more comfortable and positive workplaces overall.

The Charter outlines ten clear principles that align with the additional duties placed on employers by the Worker Protection Act, (known as the Amendment of Equality Act 2010), which will come into force in late October 2024.

We have already heard of some of the great work that has been started by many NHS trusts, and appreciate that teams have had to mobilise quickly to comply with all 10 principles by July 2024 if they have signed the pledge.

All 10 Principles include:

1. We will actively work to eradicate sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace.

2. We will promote a culture that fosters openness and transparency and does not tolerate unwanted, harmful and/or inappropriate sexual behaviours.

3. We will take an intersectional approach to the sexual safety of our workforce, recognising certain groups will experience sexual harassment and abuse at a disproportionate rate.

4. We will provide appropriate support for those in our workforce who experience unwanted, inappropriate and/or harmful sexual behaviours.

5. We will clearly communicate standards of behaviour. This includes expected action for those who witness inappropriate, unwanted and/or harmful sexual behaviour.

6. We will ensure appropriate, specific, and clear policies are in place. They will include appropriate and timely action against alleged perpetrators.

7. We will ensure appropriate, specific, and clear training is in place.

8. We will ensure appropriate reporting mechanisms are in place for those experiencing these behaviours.

9. We will take all reports seriously and appropriate and timely action will be taken in all cases.

10. We will capture and share data on prevalence and staff experience transparently.

How Can We Help?

We have been experts in this field for the past thirty years and we can confirm the effectiveness of well-thought-out and consistently implemented approaches to tackle sexual harassment and misconduct. We have also seen firsthand the genuine human consequences that can happen when things deviate from what individuals can and should anticipate in this sphere.

We’re committed to moving things forward in this area, and as such, we offer low-cost, essential training, designed to support compliance with the charter. Our expertise in this sector ensures that the training is not just informative, but engaging and sensitively delivered – because these topics deserve a nuanced approach.

Furthermore, any funds raised through our expert-led training delivery go back into our frontline services, thereby supporting survivors of sexual violence and abuse.

If this is of interest to you, get in touch with us on training@survivorsnetwork.org.uk and we can take you through the options; including personalising sessions to your specific teams and context.

It’s inspiring to hear about the different efforts being made to create and uphold safe work environments. We applaud NHS England for taking the lead in promoting a work culture that prioritises safety and respect.

Want to find out more about our training options?

Visit our Training & Consultancy page here.