New Code of Practice to tackle sexual harassment at work


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The UK government has announced a series of measures to tackle sexual harassment at work.

It will introduce a new Code of Practice to enable employers to understand their legal responsibilities. The Government Equalities Office (GEO) has also promised to carry out awareness raising work with Acas, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and employers on how to prevent and address sexual harassment at work, and to work with regulators to ensure they are taking action. In addition the GEO will commission survey data on the prevalence of sexual harassment at work.

The government will also consult on:

  • Non-disclosure agreements;
  • How to strengthen and clarify the laws in relation to third party harassment;
  • The evidence base for introducing a new legal duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace;
  • And whether further legal protections are required for interns and volunteers.

It will explore the evidence for extending employment tribunal time limits for Equality Act cases, and ensure that the public sector takes action to tackle and prevent sexual harassment. It will also consider whether further learnings can be taken from the criminal justice system to use in the employment tribunal system, to ensure vulnerable claimants have appropriate protection. Finally, it will check that the list of organisations who can receive whistleblowing information includes the right bodies.

This article is taken from HR Law - January 2019.

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