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Government announce new statutory code to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace

By December 20, 2018March 21st, 2019Legal Update
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace | HR Solutions

On the 18th December 2018,  the government confirmed that they planned to undertake some of the prominent recommendations that were published in the Sexual Harassment in the Workplace report which was published on the 25th July by the Equalities Commission.

Preventing sexual harassment in the workplace

It has been confirmed that a new statutory code of practice will be developed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and awareness raising work will be conducted with the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas). The aim is to help employers to better understand their legal responsibilities with regard to preventing and addressing sexual harassment in the workplace.

Employers legal duties

Along with commissioning surveys to better understand the prevalence of the problem in work, the government will also consult on issues including: the use of non-disclosure agreements, how to strengthen and clarify the laws on third party harassment and whether interns and volunteers require further legal protection. They will also consult on whether there should be a new and specific legal duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

The government have already faced criticism from the press, saying that the announcement falls short on the changes many feel are required, particularly regarding the apparent lack of urgency as so far, no dates have been discussed for when any of this will be acted upon.

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