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Protection of the dignity of women and men at work
This recommendation seeks to promote greater awareness at all levels of the problem of sexual harassment at work and its consequences. To this end, it urges the Member States in particular to take preventive measures and highlights the role of the Commission in promoting and evaluating the use of the code of practice.
Commission Recommendation 92/131/EEC of 27 November 1991 on the protection of the dignity of women and men at work [Official Journal L 49 of 24.02.1992].
In this document, the Member States are recommended to take action to promote awareness that conduct of a sexual nature, or other conduct based on sex and affecting dignity, is unacceptable.
Sexual harassment is defined as:
- conduct which is unwanted, unreasonable and offensive to the recipient;
- any conduct which is used explicitly or implicitly as a basis for a decision which affects that person's access to vocational training, access to employment, continued employment or salary;
- any conduct which creates an intimidating, hostile or humiliating work environment for the recipient.
Such conduct may, in certain circumstances, be contrary to the principle of equal treatment within the meaning of Articles 3, 4 and 5 of Council Directive 76/207/EEC on equal treatment.
Member States are also asked to take action in the public sector to implement the Commission's code of conduct, with such action serving as an example to the private sector. Member States should also encourage employers and employee representatives to develop measures to implement the code of conduct.
The Commission is to draw up a report based on the information forwarded by the Member States concerning the measures taken - information that should be communicated within three years of the date on which the recommendation is adopted. During this period, the Commission shall ensure the widest possible circulation of the code of practice. The report shall examine the level of information on the Code, its perceived effectiveness, its degree of application and the extent of its use in collective bargaining between the social partners.