In research carried out for the BBC by ComRes it was found that 40% of women and 18% of men have experienced unwanted sexual behaviour at work at some point.
Acknowledging that “Everyone has the right to feel safe at work” (Victoria Atkins, Minister for Women), the Government has announced 12 steps to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace.
In particular, the Government plans the following:
- To introduce a new statutory code of practice on sexual harassment to be developed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
- Run awareness raising work with ACAS, employers and the EHRC.
- Gather regular data on the prevalence of sexual harassment by commissioning a survey.
- Consult on non-disclosure agreements.
- Consult on the evidence base for a new legal duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment.
- Consult on additional legal protection for interns and volunteers.
- Consult on the laws on third party harassment.
- Consult on extending the time limit for Employment Tribunal claims for Equality Act 2010 cases.
- Ensure the public sector takes action to prevent and tackle harassment.
- Work with regulators to ensure that are taking appropriate action.
- Consider whether lessons may be learnt from the criminal justice system to ensure vul-nerable claimants have protection.
- Check the list of organisations who can receive whistle-blowing information includes the right bodies.
If you have been affected by sexual harassment in the workplace it is important to seek expert legal advice as soon as possible.
For further assistance or advice about the topics raised in this blog please contact our Employment Law Department either:-
- By calling 01924 387 110
- Requesting a call back
- Or visiting our free Employment Clinic in our Horsforth office every Monday 9am-10am & 12p-2pm