The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023
Employers are already prohibited from harassing their employees who are protected under section 40 of the Equality Act 2010. In June 2022, the Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill 2022-23 was introduced. The Bill proposed to reintroduce third party liability, which previously protected employees from harassment from third parties, such as customers and clients. The requirements regarding third party liability were eventually dropped from the Act and instead a new duty was introduced to require all employers (irrespective of their size and resources) to take reasonable steps to prevent the sexual harassment of their employees in the course of their employment.
The Act which will come into force in October next year provides for a compensation uplift in sexual harassment cases where an employer has failed to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment and an employee proves they were subjected to it. The compensation uplift could be as much as 25% of the total sum awarded to an employee with a successful tribunal claim. Employers acting in breach of this duty can also face potential enforcement action by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) which could also lead to an employer suffering serious reputational damage.
Recommended Next Steps
In light of this new duty, employers should review their employment policies and give relevant training to managers to ensure that they can show they are taking all reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers should also look out for the EHRC’s new statutory code of practice on workplace harassment, which will be essential reading for anyone responsible for handling an employer’s HR.
For advice or further information on how to handle this new duty to prevent workplace sexual harassment, call Henry Doswell of Doswell Law Solicitors on 01233 722942. Alternatively, email Henry at email@example.com
Disclaimer: Whilst every reasonable effort is made to make the information and commentary contained in this blog accurate and up to date, Henry Doswell takes no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it. The information and commentary in this blog does not constitute legal advice to any person on a specific case or matter. You are strongly advised to obtain specific, personal advice from a lawyer about your case or matter.