8% of employees face unsolicited sexual advances

Research shows that over 8% of Belgian workers experience unwished for sexual advances at work at some time. Most of the victims were women, though men too enter the picture. One in a hundred Belgian employees says she or he is confronted with this phenomenon on a weekly basis.

6.7% of workers complain of sexually motivated ogling or attempts to undress them by their admirer. In 3.2% of cases there is mention of gestures, words, texting or emails. In 2.2% the unsolicited advances include physical touching. In half of all case colleagues are to blame, while in the other half its visitors or external workers who cause the upset.

Lode Godderis of Leuven University: "Unsolicited sexual contacts have an impact on the well-being and functioning of employees. 43% feel emotionally exhausted, while for 30% it isn't really an issue."

"Such advances increase the amount of sick leave employees take by 12%. It also has an impact on motivation and employees' decision to move to another employer."

"It's important that the rules are clearly defined and that if such behaviour occurs, you know who to speak to."