Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment

Harassment is any form of unwanted conduct related to any of the discriminatory grounds. Sexual harassment is any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. The test of whether conduct amounts to harassment is a subjective one. If the conduct has the purpose or effect of violating a person's dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment, then it is considered harassment for which the employer is responsible. Employers must take all reasonable steps to ensure a workplace free from harassment and sexual harassment by either preventative or reactive measures. An employer will be liable for harassment by its employees, clients, customers or other business contacts, if the employer does not take reasonable steps to prevent it. Protection from Harassment Act 1997 also provides civil remedies and criminal punishments in respect of harassment. The 1997 Act applies regardless of whether the ‘harassment’ in question is related to any protected ground.

Source: §26 of the Equality Act; §26 of the Employment Rights Act 1996

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