Minister agrees to discuss ‘Know the Line’ campaign with Sheffield MP

Minister for Women and Equalities Elizabeth Truss has agreed to discuss in detail about Sheffield's ‘Know The Line’ campaign that aims at tackling sexual harassment in the hospitality sector.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 1:20 pm

MP for Sheffield Central Paul Blomfield said he told Parliament about the campaign on Wednesday, raising concerns of young women working in Sheffield's pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes and hotels.

Led by the Labour politician, the city-wide campaign was launched on May 17 to coincide with the reopening of catering and hospitality venues under the Step Three of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Mr Blomfield said: "After I was told by a local school student of her experience of sexual harassment working in a restaurant - and the power imbalance which made it difficult to raise with her employer - I worked with the Sheffield Star, the Business Improvement District, the Chamber of Commerce, the Council, the police and others on a campaign to Know the Line - for zero tolerance of sexual harassment in the hospitality sector.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Paul Blomfield MP with the staff at the Silver Plate who supported the campaign.
Paul Blomfield MP with the staff at the Silver Plate who supported the campaign.

"Will the Minister back our campaign, and will she say when the Government will finally respond to the 2019 consultation on sexual harassment in the workplace?

The Minister responded, saying: I'd be very happy to meet with the honourable gentleman to discuss his campaign."

She however did not commit to a date for the publication of the Government's response to the consultation raised by Mr Blomfield, merely saying it would be published "very shortly."

Commenting after the exchange, Mr Blomfield said: “I’m delighted that the Government have agreed to meet me to discuss our campaign, and hear more about the fantastic work that Sheffield’s businesses are doing to eradicate sexual harassment from our pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes and other venues as they are reopening after lockdown.”

Know The Line campaign takes into effect on Monday (May 17) to coincide with the fully reopening of hospitality sector.

“However, the Government must do more to tackle sexual harassment in all workplaces, so I’m disappointed that there was no further clarity on measures being taken centrally to tackle sexual harassment and improve the rights of anyone experiencing it.”

The ‘Know the Line’ campaign is supported by The Star, Know the Line: Campaign against Sexual Harassment, Sheffield City Council, UNIGHT and other partners.

To sign the pledge and be part of the campaign, please go here.

Launch of the Know The Line campaign in the Paece Gardens in Sheffield. PC Oliver Wilson and Insp. Ali Bywater. Picture Scott Merrylees