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More work to do to combat sexual harassment in maritime, says Union

8 February 2022

Nautilus is supporting action to combat the sexual harassment of seafarers and other cross-border workers through a motion at the UK Trades Union Congress (TUC) Women's Conference 2022.

The motion seeks support for women whose employment makes it difficult to access immediate assistance, and to seek legal redress for seafarers and other cross-border workers.

The Nautilus delegation will include strategic organiser Rachel Lynch, and seafarers Nicole Marcer and Krista Glauner.

The Unison motion 'welcomes the UK government's announcement (July 2021) that it intends to introduce a duty on employers to protect staff from sexual harassment, protections from third-party harassment, and to look at extending the time limit for employment tribunal cases. Achieving the changes to the law is urgent.'

Sexual harassment is rife in workplaces, stresses the motion. 'It can happen to anyone; however, the majority of those affected are women. Too many workers have had to put up with appalling behaviour for too long because they felt nothing would be done if they reported it. There is also evidence that the requirement to work from home during the pandemic has led to online sexual harassment becoming more prevalent.'

The motion

Conference calls on the TUC Women's Committee and affiliates to:

i) Press the government to act urgently to turn intention into action, change the law and enforce it

ii) Continue to campaign for zero tolerance of sexual harassment in workplaces, including on-line abuse

iii) Provide support to women whose work and employment arrangements makes it more difficult to access immediate assistance and to seek legal redress, such as seafarers and other cross-border workers

iv) Campaign for the UK to ratify the Istanbul Convention and International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 190, an international treaty that recognises the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment

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Nautilus advice

Nautilus is here to support you in recognising and tackling the problem of workplace bullying and harassment. It is an issue the Union has been addressing for many years. Following feedback from members the Nautilus Protect and Respect guide was drawn up, which is aimed at those members who may be experiencing bullying or harassment in the maritime workplace, and the colleagues who want to help them. If, as a female member, you would like to speak to a female official about a bullying or harassment issue, email

Download the guide Email a female official