Consultation reviewing third-party harassment
The Government has said that it will consult on removing the requirement for employers to take reasonable steps to prevent harassment of their employees by third parties.
Under the Equality Act 2010, the employer is liable if an employee is harassed by a third party, where the employer knows that the employee has been subjected to such harassment on at least two other occasions but has failed to take reasonably practicable steps to prevent it. The Government has called the provisions "unworkable", because employers have no direct control over harassment of their staff by third parties.
- The plan for growth (PDF format, 1.63MB) The proposed consultation on removing the third-party harassment provisions of the Equality Act 2010 was announced in the Government's plan for growth document, which can be viewed on the HM Treasury website.
The XpertHR FAQs section answers the following employers' questions on third-party harassment:
- If a third party harasses an employee, will his or her employer be liable for the third party's actions under the Equality Act 2010?
- Can employers be held liable for harassment that takes place during a work-related social event?
- If a business client harasses an employee, is the employer liable?
Podcast: Harassment under the Equality Act and disability discrimination Harassment under the Equality Act 2010, which extends third-party harassment to all the relevant protected characteristics and extends the definition of harassment to include harassment because of association and perception, is discussed on the XpertHR Weekly podcast.
The XpertHR policies and documents section provides a model Policy on investigating claims of bullying and harassment and a model Policy on dealing with harassment complaints.