This article was published on November 29th, 2013
Under the Equality Act 2010 an employer could be held liable for acts amounting to harassment of their employees even where those acts had been carried out by a third party, including clients and customers of the employer. The harassment must have occurred on two or more occasions, the employer must have been aware of it and taken all reasonable steps to prevent it. This could, however, be quite hard on an employer who might be unlikely to have any control over the third party.
Following the introduction of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, from the 1st October 2013, these provisions have been repealed and are no longer effective. Whilst, in theory, this appears to be a positive move for employers there are other legal routes available for employees who feel they are being harassed. For further information about the law relating to harassment and how it might impact upon your business contact Mark Bestley, Nicola Parker or Lee Stone.