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Sexual harassment at work

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission has issued a powerful new report called Turning the tables: ending sexual harassment at work. The report shares evidence from employers and employees of sexual harassment in the workplace and makes recommendations on how to stop it.

In the report the Commission identifies failures by employers to set out policies on sexual harassment in enough detail, support victims, provide for fair and effective grievance processes or ensure those who make complaints will not be victimised as a result.

The Commission makes a number of recommendations to the government. These include:

  • A legal duty on all employers to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace;
  • The introduction of a binding legal code of practice which employers must follow or see any compensation awarded against them in an employment tribunal increased by up to 25%;
  • Making it illegal to prevent disclosure of future acts of discrimination, harassment or victimisation in a contract or settlement agreement;
  • Restrict the use of confidentiality clauses to stop victims disclosing past acts of harassment; and
  • Making it easier for people to bring sexual harassment claims. For example by extending time limits and making it easier to find out relevant information from an employer.

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