The NASUWT has cautiously welcomed the UK Government’s ratification of ILO Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment.

The NASUWT launched a campaign to get MPs to lobby for its adoption at our 2021 Women’s Conference.

On 7 March 2022, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Thérèse Coffey, announced that the UK Government had finally deposited the instrument of ratification of the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190) with the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

But ratification in itself is not enough. Enforcement and monitoring will be key and the Convention does not come into force in the UK until 7 March 2023.

Violence and harassment at work takes a range of forms and leads to physical, psychological, sexual and economic harm.

Together with Recommendation No. 206, Convention No. 190 recognises the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment and provides a common framework for action.

It provides the first internationally accepted definition of violence and harassment in the world of work, including gender-based violence and harassment.

Since the Convention was adopted in 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the issue further, with many forms of work-related violence and harassment being reported across countries since the outbreak began, particularly against women and vulnerable groups.

The NASUWT will continue to campaign against violence and harassment at work - campaigning and bargaining for policies and practices that will lead to the total eradication of violence and harassment in the workplace, monitoring the implementation of those policies, and calling out those employers who fail to act to protect women in their places of work.