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Employer had no defence for harassment

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    Canniffe v East Riding of Yorkshire Council [2000] IRLR 555 EAT (1 other report)

    • Sex discrimination: How to avoid vicarious liability for unlawful discrimination

      Date:
      1 September 2000

      In Canniffe v East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the EAT holds that the proper approach to the employer's statutory defence to vicarious liability for unlawful discrimination is, first, to identify whether or not the employer took any steps at all to prevent the employee, for whom it is vicariously liable, from doing the act or acts complained of in the course of his or her employment; and secondly, having identified what steps, if any, the employer took, to consider whether or not there were any further steps, that it could have taken, which were reasonably practicable.

In Canniffe v East Riding of Yorkshire Council (17 April 2000) EOR93C, the EAT rules that an employer does not satisfy the defence for liability for sexual harassment merely by showing that there was nothing it could have done to stop the harassment from occurring. In order to satisfy the statutory defence, an employer must show positively that it took such steps as were reasonably practicable.