Following the final approval of the amended Sexual Harassment Bill in Parliament on Tuesday (October 12), Gender Minister Olivia Grange has welcomed the passage of the new legislation.
Speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (October 12), Grange expressed her feelings of relief and gratitude at the bill’s passage, offering commendations to all who played a role in the strengthening of the legislation.
“I just want to commend everyone on both sides of the House and those in civil society for us being able to say we now have a bill,” said Grange.
The House had previously approved the Bill in July, sending it to the Senate for review.
Following a debate in the Senate on October 1, the Bill was sent back to the House of Representatives with 23 amendments.
Among the amendments are changes to Clause 8 to allow for the findings of a sexual harassment claim, including cases of exoneration, to be included in the confidential register that must be maintained at places of employment and institutions.
Other amendments of note include the treatment of false complaints.
According to Grange, Clause 41 was amended to define the terms, complaint and sexual harassment claim.
The amendment now makes it clear that a false complaint or false sexual harassment claim are both wrong and actionable in the parish court to a fine not exceeding $1 million.
Arrangements will now be made for the implementation of the Sexual Harassment Act, including the establishment of a tribunal to hear matters and the intensification of a public education campaign.