Putting sexual harassment at the top of the agenda

The Women & Equality commission have produced their report on Sexual Harassment in the workplace.

There are some key conclusions and recommendations they have made;

  • Employers should provide a workplace where employees have safety and dignity and that this should equal their other employer responsibilities around money laundering or protecting personal data.
  • The public sector should lead the way on this and provide good practice examples for other employers. Such as carrying out sexual harassment risk assessments and take steps to mitigate.
  • Government and ACAS should provide a statutory code with guidance on the following;
    • Behaviours which might constitute Sexual Harassment.
    • What are the employers responsibilities in protecting employees.
    • What actions should an employee take.
    • How employers should help challenge inappropriate behaviours.
  • This code would be considered by a tribunal when assessing if there has been a breach.
  • That employers have a duty to take reasonable steps to protect employees from third party harassment.
  • Tribunal can award punitive damages, so the employer would need to pay legal costs if they lose a case where sexual harassment was alleged.
  • Extend the time limit to raise a claim which alleges sexual harassment to six months.

Considering the above it is a good time to think about the following;

  • Look again at your Bullying & Harassment polices & procedures.
  • Do your employees know how to raise concerns around harassment?
  • Do you promote a culture in which concerns can be raised?
  • Have all your staff received Equality & Diversity training?

If you have any questions or concerns on this then please get in touch with the Team at HRML who will be happy to provide you with further advice and guidance.

 

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