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Harry Potter star Emma Watson, who is a well-known activist and has often raised voice against women rights has recently teamed up with Time's Up to launch a free workplace harassment hotline for women in Wales and England, who are experiencing workplace sexual harassment. The helpline scheme was funded by donations from the public members, including Emma, supported by Time's Up UK's Justice and Equality Fund and managed by a charitable fund Rosa, a UK fund for financially supporting women and girls.
This helpline is a novel step against workplace harassment and a great initiative for UK women. A scheme like this should be set up not in the US and around the world. The helpline will work on every Monday between 18:00 to 20:00 BST and Tuesday between 17:00 to 19:00 BST.
Research from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) revealed that out of every 2 women, one woman experienced workplace sexual harassment. The UK government had passed the Equality Act in 2010 but it didn't work as expected. Also, in a survey of 2000+ people conducted by BBC in 2017, it is found that almost half of the British women have been sexually harassed at the work station.
On this note, the 'Beauty and the Beast' actress said, "Finally feels like people are realising the scale of the problem" and she was "certainly hopeful" of starting to see "a new climate of prevention and accountability" in the United Kingdom. She also added that this helpline may not eradicate the work station sexual harassment, but for sure, keep women knowledgeable about their rights, so they can take necessary steps to cope up with the difficult situation.
How This Legal Advice Hotline Will Function?
Women who need guidance in their work environment can call the helpline for any advice, considering the fact that all the advisors will be specialist lawyers from the 'Rights of Women'(a UK-based women's charity) for effective and fruitful advice. The issues on which women can seek help are as follows:
- What counts as workplace sexual harassment?
- How to proceed on filing a case against an employer?
- How to make a claim?
- How to proceed with settlement agreements, the Guardian report, and nondisclosure agreements?
While talking to the press, Emma said in a statement, "It's completely staggering to think that this is the only service of its type given that research has found that as many as one in two women experience sexual harassment in the workplace".
"Understanding what your rights are, how you can assert them, and the choices you have if you've experienced harassment, is such a vital part of creating safe workplaces for everyone, and this advice line is such a huge development in ensuring that all women are supported, wherever we work," she added.