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About the Review

Who the review heard from:

All current SAPOL staff over 18-years, including sworn and non-sworn employees, volunteers, and staff who have left SAPOL in the last 12 months were invited to take part in the review.

The review acknowledges that anyone can experience sex discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace and that people may experience it differently. We wanted to hear from all staff regardless of their sex, gender identity or sexual preference.

To provide a contemporary picture, the review will focus on the last five years.

EOC gathered information using:

  • a confidential anonymous online survey
  • confidential one-on-one interviews
  • confidential written submissions
  • de-identified SAPOL data
  • EOC observation of SAPOL work and training places and
  • a review of legislation, policies and procedures.

Definition of terms

Sexual harassment  

Legally sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, where it is reasonable to expect that the other person would be offended, afraid or humiliated.

Both men and women can sexually harass and be harassed by either sex.

Sexual harassment is determined from the point of view of the person feeling harassed. It does not matter how the behaviour was intended. What matters is its effect on the other person.

Sexual harassment can be:

  • unwelcome touching or kissing
  • commenting on a person's appearance
  • comments, jokes or name-calling
  • leering or staring
  • sexual pictures, objects, emails, text messages or literature
  • direct or implied propositions, or requests for dates
  • asking about a person's sexual history or sexual activities
  • Mutual attraction or friendship with consent is not sexual harassment.

Sex discrimination

Sex discrimination for the purpose of this review is when a person is treated less favourably because of their gender. It is also sex discrimination when there is a rule or policy that is the same for everyone but has an unfair effect on people of a particular sex.

Sex discrimination includes all forms of gender-based discrimination, for example, discrimination based on pregnancy, parental responsibilities, breastfeeding, sexual orientation, gender identity, inter-sex status, part-time status and access to flexible working arrangements.

Predatory behaviour 

is the misuse of authority or influence with the intention of exploiting others for sexual or other personal gratification.