The law covering sexual discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace is now primarily to be found in the provisions of the Equality Act 2010. This can be a potentially complex area of law; early advice is recommended if concerned your business is not taking all appropriate measures to protect employees and indeed the reputation of the business itself.
Guidance on best practise is provided by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Examples of steps an employer should take are detailed below.
As well as ensuring a safe and non-hostile working environment, employers can take steps to minimise the risk that they will be found liable for the acts of their employees. Under the Equality Act 2010 employers are “prima facie” liable for sexual harassment committed by their employees during the course of their employment. This is regardless of whether the employee’s acts were done with the employer’s knowledge or approval. This is known as vicarious liability.
However, an employer can take steps to reduce the risk of being held vicariously liable if it can demonstrate that it took all reasonable steps to prevent the harassment.
Effective Equality and Diversity (Anti-Harassment) Policy.
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Posted 24/09/2019 by:
Senior Chartered Legal Executive in Litigation & Employment Teams
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