Harassment in the workplace – preventing claims
A recent survey undertaken by the TUC has revealed that more than half of the women who have taken part in the survey have said that they been sexually harassed at work. The majority say that they have not reported it.
Direct sex discrimination occurs where because of someone’s sex, A treats B less favourably than A treats or would treat others. Section 13(1) of the Equality Act 2010.
Harassment occurs where A engages in unwanted conduct related to sex, and the conduct has the purpose or effect of either violating B’s dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment for B. Section 26(1) Equality Act 2010. Sexual harassment can include any form of unwanted verbal or physical sexual conduct, from inappropriate comments to touching or requests for sexual favours.
This recent survey highlights the importance of preventing such claims in the workplace. If an employee is of the view that they have been subjected to sexual discrimination or harassment in the workplace, then not only can they bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal against the employer but also the individual who has subjected the employee to discrimination.
This can not only be a costly exercise in defending the claim but could also have an impact on the reputation of the organisation. Organisations should have well drafted equal opportunities polices and ensure that all of its employees have received training in equal opportunities.
If you require any assistance in dealing with allegations of discrimination in the work place or indeed preparing polices and/or training please contact:
Partner and Head of Employment
T. 020 7227 7410
This briefing is for guidance purposes only. RadcliffesLeBrasseur accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken or not taken in relation to this note and recommends that appropriate legal advice be taken having regard to a client's own particular circumstances.