Charities to face new legal duty to prevent harassment in the workplace

Following the Government’s recent response to the 2019 consultation on sexual harassment in the workplace, charities with employees should be aware of an upcoming new legal duty to prevent harassment, which the Government has said will extend to all forms of harassment prohibited by the Equality Act, and which it will be taking forward “as soon as parliamentary time allows”.

The key proposals the Government has confirmed as follows:

  • A new duty requiring employers to take all reasonable steps to prevent harassment in the workplace.
  • The reintroduction of specific measures to protect workers from third-party harassment.
  • Looking closely at extending the time limit for bringing discrimination claims in the employment tribunal from three to six months.

These duties will be owed in respect of employees, and the Government has rejected a proposal to broaden the definition of employee so that volunteers are also afforded protection.

For more information on the new duty, head over to our sister blog, hr law live.


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