Equal Opportunities Commission


E-news Issue 318

EOC co-organises forum on sexual harassment prevention for SMEs

EOC co-organises forum on sexual harassment prevention for SMEs

On 27 November 2023, the EOC co-organised a forum on preventing sexual harassment in the workplace with Zonta Club of Kowloon and Hong Kong Small and Medium Enterprises Association. The forum aimed to enhance awareness and understanding of anti-sexual harassment measures among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Hong Kong.

According to the Trade and Industry Department, there are over 360 000 SMEs in Hong Kong. They constitute over 98% of businesses in the city and employ more than 44% of the workforce in the private sector. Accordingly, SMEs have an important role to play in combating sexual harassment.

Conducted in a hybrid format, the forum drew the participation of employers, management personnel, and human resources professionals from a wide range of sectors, including construction, real estate, manufacturing, hospitality, and professional services.

In his opening speech, EOC Chairperson Mr Ricky CHU Man-kin said, “The EOC is delighted to co-organise the anti-sexual harassment forum with Zonta Club of Kowloon and HKSME Association. Combating workplace sexual harassment has always been a priority for the EOC. In addition to handling enquiries and complaints related to sexual harassment, we also strive to educate and equip SMEs, as well as public and private enterprises, with knowledge of the law and practical measures. This forum creates a platform for the co-organisers and SMEs to exchange views and explore ways to build working environments free of sexual harassment. With enhanced understanding of the issue, we hope more SMEs will adopt a proactive and professional approach to prevent and handle sexual harassment in the workplace.”

Dr Ferrick CHU Chung-man, Executive Director (Operations) of the EOC, delivered an in-depth presentation, covering the definition of sexual harassment under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance, the responsibilities of SME employers, and the benefits for SMEs in combating sexual harassment in employment. He also offered tips on establishing harassment-free work environments for SMEs. Other speakers included Ms Winnie TEOH, Chair of Advocacy Committee of Zonta Club of Kowloon and Past International Director of Zonta International, who shared examples of international efforts to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, while Ms WONG Lok-yung, Organiser of Hong Kong Women Workers’ Association, made suggestions on effective measures to prevent sexual harassment at work.