Sexual harassment in the workplace: more legislation for employers?

The UK Government Equalities Office has published a consultation paper to help decide whether further legislation is required. The proposals cover:

  • Prevention of sexual harassment at work
  • Third party sexual harassment
  • Volunteers and Interns

It also questions whether the three-month tribunal time limit for Equality Act cases is sufficient.

There are already strong laws set out in the Equality Act 2010, but a recent series of reports by Government show there are still problems, and the #metoo movement has highlighted this. The consultation paper states that:

“Harassment is often a product of power imbalances both within the workplace and across the wider society.”

The issue applies not only to women but “to anyone in a disadvantaged position”.

The government is already looking into the misuse of confidentiality clauses, and employers should be aware that allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace, if not dealt with correctly, may well have criminal implications for the employer.

The consultation lasts from 12 July- 2 October 2019. View the full consultation paper here.

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