Sexual harassment resulted in payout of over £350,000!

An employment tribunal has heard that a male manager in his 50s, working at the National Grid, sent frequent texts and emails to a young female trainee – telling her he fancied her.

The trainee complained about her manager’s behaviour but, despite an internal investigation by National Grid, he remained in his role.

The trainee eventually resigned in 2021 and lodged an employment tribunal on the grounds of sexual harassment, victimisation and constructive wrongful dismissal.

She was awarded £357,000 in compensation, having successfully argued that her treatment during her time at National Grid had derailed her career progress.

As a result, National Grid have confirmed that they have commissioned a comprehensive training  programme to ensure that their staff know how to report anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or unsafe, and to reiterate in the strongest possible terms the standard of behaviour expected.

If recent research is to be considered, sexual harassment is a very present issue in many workplaces. It found that almost three-quarters of female workers have seen or been subject to inappropriate behaviour from male colleagues in the workplace.

The first step in preventing misconduct is to have a well worded harassment and / or bullying policy but in conjunction with this, employers should ensure that they have a clear, zero-tolerance attitude towards this behaviour. Workplace training on how to manage, avoid and report inappropriate actions will also help to send out a clear employer message. 

121 HR Solutions can provide bespoke workplace training in this subject. For further information contact us at enquiries@121hrsolutions.co.uk 

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