On Tuesday 3 December 2019, VOW organised an Employment Forum on the topic of "#MeToo at Work", attended by 70 HR professionals and legal counsels in the Cercle de Lorraine in Brussels. The presentation was given by dr. Vanessa De Greef, post-doctoral researcher (FNRS) of the ULB (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and expert in the area of wellbeing at work and Els Langhendries, Senior Associate in the Employment department of VOW and working on a doctoral research at the University of Hasselt. They were introduced by Vincent Vuylsteke, partner at VOW.
Dr. Vanessa De Greef presented the findings of her recent research on the Belgian jurisprudence regarding sexual harassment at the workplace in order to define the essential elements of the concept of sexual harassment. Her research will lead to a peer-reviewed publication, which is expected to appear in February 2020. She also highlighted issues with the proof of acts of sexual harassment and with discrimination law. Els Langhendries looked at the procedural aspects of the internal (intra company) and external (social inspection, police, criminal and labour courts) options for victims of sexual harassment at work and addressed different aspects of dismissal (dismissal protection for victims and witnesses and the dismissal for urgent cause of perpetrators), concluding with some tips for the prevention of sexual harassment: what can employers do to prevent these acts as much as possible.