Together with the Standards Institution of Israel (SII) and with the support of the Ministry of the Economy, ARCCI is pioneering a new program, which is the first of its kind in Israel. "The Gold Standard" is a Voluntary Code of Ethics to be implemented in a wide variety of companies and organizations to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. The Voluntary Code aims to provide a clear guide for employers on how to create a safe work environment, free of sexual harassment. The companies and organizations who will adopt the voluntary code will undergo a process of in-depth training within the organization, and in the end will receive "The Gold Standard" from SII, which will be published in internal and public platforms.
The process of creating the Gold Standard included our initial drafting of the voluntary code, followed by a round table discussion with legal advisors from various women's organizations and lawyers who specialize in sexual harassment in the workplace to receive input on our draft. The main suggestions made by the voluntary code that are not currently included in existing laws or regulations include:
- The company's obligation to provide professional training to employees on the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace, this is not currently regulated by legislation.
- The company's obligation to set aside part of the annual budget for the prevention and handling of sexual harassment within the organization, whereas today there is no targeted budget on the topic of prevention and the company does not provide for the handling of incidents that have occurred.
- A company policy on regulating intimate relationships within the organization, today such a policy does not exist and many companies expose themselves to legal proceedings because of this.
- Regulation and clarification of the procedure for investigating complaints of sexual harassment within the organization, in light of claims by many supervisors that existing regulations are not clear or comprehensive enough.