Every person has the right to be treated fairly and respectfully in the workplace, and to be able to carry out their duties free of sexual harassment. There are many different forms of sexual harassment which range from overt requests for sexual favours through to suggestive comments, inappropriate photos, unwanted advances or questions of an intimate nature.
Employers have a duty of care to effectively address sexual harassment in the workplace and if this is breached, you may be able to take a case to a tribunal. Whether you are an employer who has received an allegation or an employee who is experiencing sexual harassment, we can provide legal advice and help.
For more information about our employment law services please call us on +44 (0)20 3475 6751 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about sexual harassment
Do you need more information about sexual harassment in the workplace? We can help with advice on sexual harassment and how to pursue a claim for discrimination.
The Equality Act 2010 provides protection for employees and contractors against sexual harassment in the workplace. The same protection applies to both men and women.
This legislation makes it unlawful for you to experience conduct of a sexual nature which either is intended to, or has the purpose of, violating your dignity.
Section s.26(2) and s.27(1)(b of the Equality Act 2010 set out in more detail exactly what sexual harassment is:
- The perpetrator “engages in unwanted conduct of a sexual nature”
- It “has the purpose or effect of violating your worker’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment”
The term “sexual nature” is more of an ambiguous area as this is not precisely described. However, this does not need to be physical contact; verbal or non-verbal communication or actions may also be considered as “unwanted conduct of a sexual nature”. Examples could include sending an unwanted, explicit email which is considered to be offensive, or displaying a pornographic calendar on the wall.
The law states that the individual who carries out the sexual harassment will be held liable, but the employer may be liable too.
It is possible for the employer to avoid being held liable for the sexual harassment but they must be able to demonstrate they took all reasonable steps to prevent and address the situation. This doesn’t just refer to being proactive when a complaint was raised, but also in providing training on sexual harassment to staff and having clear policies in place.
The Equality Act 2010 is only designed to cover instances which occur in the workplace. However, sexual harassment which occurs while socialising with work colleagues or while away on a business trip are also covered.
An employer is not responsible for the conduct of any non-employees, but they still have obligations. An employer is expected to act swiftly and clearly if a complaint about sexual harassment committed by a non-employee is received. Failing to do so could make the employer liable for actions of the non-employee.
Sexual harassment is an emotive issue where careful application of the legislation is necessary. We have many years of experience providing support in contentious cases and can help whether you are defending against a claim, or have been the victim of sexual harassment yourself.
YOUR EMPLOYMENT LAW TEAM
Employment Partner / Barrister
t: +44 020 3475 2713
m: +44 07572 823 361
Acted for an associate in the banking sector who was discriminated against because of their background, and settled for a year’s worth of salary and a bonus
Advised a client in the research sector who was being harassed by their manager, and helped expose systemic abuse within the workplace
WHY CARTER BOND
Unlike many law firms when we say partner or barrister led, we mean partner or barrister led. When clients work with us, they get constant access to the lead on their instruction. Yes, we have a team of solicitors and juniors for some of the groundwork and necessary research required by our clients, but this is when it makes financial sense to the client for us to do this. We provide constant contact at no extra cost as part of our service as most of our lawyers have their own business, so they know first-hand how important having a proactive, responsible and trusted partner on their side can be. And also how to work to a financial budget, and the way that legal decisions impact the wider organisation, which often requires balancing risks and competing interests.
Many ask us ‘what’s different about you?’ and we like to reply, ‘because we go the extra mile’. We see our work as building and maintaining good business relationships rather than just earning fees. How we do this is by keeping in constant contact with our clients and intermediaries. From pre to post instruction we ensure that our clients are informed of all legal issues that may impact their business and therefore lives. That is why we provide daily or weekly updates to ALL of our clients whether there is anything to tell them or not (we don’t charge for this we just see it as part of our service). We like our clients to rest peacefully knowing that when we are instructed, and we say ‘we will take it from here’ they know we mean it.
City quality, outer City fees
The world is changing, and many individuals are realising that lifestyle is as vital to them as is income. We are the lucky ones who can hand pick lawyers who can provide the best quality advice but at outer city costs. Our offices are in North West London which may not be the most salubrious in the market but at the same time this allows us to charge our clients for what they pay for, our advice NOT our office space.
ALL our lawyers have previously worked in large city-based law firms and continue to practise and offer the same high level service they provided to clients in the City but without the pressure and demands often dictated by City law firm. This allows us to be competitive on our fees without compromising our service.
All in all, our clients win, which is the way we like it.
Our knowledge and resources are yours
All our clients benefit from the same high level of care and attention whether the instruction is big or small. At the outset of each matter, we discuss the entire process with our clients, including the costs, potential outcomes and issues associated. This is to ensure clients are fully aware, knowledgeable and are in control always. Supporting and ensuring we provide the highest level of services, we offer our constant contact process with the partner or barrister leading your file, a document log in for matters which are for larger and more complicated instructions and on-going support post transaction should our clients require it. Our aim is not just to get the work done, but to make our clients’ lives easier as we do it, which is why we ensure that our clients have regular access to the resources they need from us.
“No nonsense approach, commercially astute and pragmatic, a “can do” attitude which sadly I find to be a rare quality in many Solicitors today.”
“Very thorough and highly competent.”
“Something that could have taken months took days.”
“They went well over and above.”
“Detail-orientated and highly knowledgeable.”
“In a rapidly changing environment having a proactive team of solicitors is absolutely essential.”
“A fantastic company.”
“They really understand the importance and urgency of the matters they are dealing with.”
“They gave me great advice and were able to support me throughout all stages of the transaction. Thank you!”
Winter is here & so is the snow.
Airports, motorways and sidewalks are slippery, icy or closed.
So, do I have to go to work?
In the unfortunate event that you must dismiss an employee for misconduct or poor performance, there are certain steps and measures to be followed in order to avoid the risk of disputes and litigation.