Hostelería de España has begun work on a protocol to serve as a guide on how to act in the event of situations of sexual harassment or aggression between customers.
This protocol, which has been agreed, during a meeting in Palencia with representatives of the Citizen Security Unit of the National Police, contains both proactive measures applicable from the hotel and catering establishment, as well as information for customers and complementary measures. In order to share proposals and publicise their content, the Spanish Hotel and Catering Trade has requested meetings with the Ministries of Equality, the Interior and Tourism.
In the first place, the aim is for venues to adhere to this protocol as an “Active venue in the face of possible situations of sexual harassment or aggression among customers”. To this end, they will have to have information and signage visible to customers that clearly shows the instructions to be followed in the event of a possible situation of sexual harassment or aggression.
Another of the measures to be taken by the establishment is to have a safe space where the victim of sexual harassment or assault can be invited to stay until the authorities and/or assistance can adequately attend to her/him.
Establishments should have information and signage visible to customers.
In order to be able to implement this protocol, it is essential that the management and employees of the establishment undergo an approved training process, with special dedication from the security and access control department.
The information visible to customers should explain how to proceed and the steps to follow if they find themselves in a situation of harassment, or have been the victim of sexual aggression by another customer within the establishment. They should approach any of the staff in the establishment and make them aware of the situation, using one of the following words: harassment/assault and the word help, so that the staff can make themselves available and activate the Protocol.
Staff should attend to the potential victim, making the situation as discreet and comfortable as possible. They will move the victim to a quiet space, previously determined, where they can safely wait for the arrival of the police and specialised care services.
At the same time, the establishment’s employees should notify the police and/or specialised services so that the victim can be attended to by them as soon as possible, regardless of whether the victim herself or any of her companions or witnesses to the harassment or aggression have also done so.
Some of the complementary measures that can be implemented by hotel and catering establishments are to ensure the availability of surveillance camera recordings for possible subsequent investigations by the police or judicial intervention; specific training for security and access control staff for possible actions against the person who has allegedly carried out the harassment or aggression. In addition, it is recommended, as far as possible, to try to ensure that the elements that may have been involved in what happened are not altered.
The employers’ association will provide its members, free of charge, with a document of responsible declaration, a badge of adherence to the protocol and the necessary signage, training sessions for staff and the management of the establishment and also legal advice arranged with the law firm Cremades y Calvo Sotelo for the study of each situation and possible action as a private prosecutor.
With regard to situations of harassment or aggression for reasons of gender or sexual orientation, with sexual motivation in the field of labour relations, there is already a protocol in the framework of the VI Labour Agreement of the Hotel and Catering Industry-ALEH. The course includes a syllabus focused on avoiding cases of sexual harassment in the workplace, aimed at managers.