Sexual harassment – new statutory duty

Posted on November 21st, 2023

The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023 will come into force in October 2024. Employers will be under a statutory duty to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment of employees in the course of their employment.

Sexual harassment occurs where both:

  • A engages in unwanted conduct of a sexual nature.
  • 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.

Failure to take reasonable steps may result in enforcement steps by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. A successful tribunal claim will also be subject to an uplift in compensation of 25%.

It is important that all managers and staff receive relevant training on the matter of sexual harassment at work. Procedures should also be clear on how complaints of sexual harassment are dealt with and responded to.

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