Employment law update

The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023 has received Royal Assent and will come into force in October 2024. This is an important piece of legislation when it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace. 

Currently, an employer is vicariously liable for discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment) or victimisation committed by an employee in the course of employment, unless the employer can show that all reasonable steps were taken to prevent employees from committing discriminatory acts. 

However, the new duty places onus on the employer to prevent sexual harassment and will be enforceable by an employment tribunal, where it has first upheld a claim for sexual harassment.

A tribunal will have the discretion to award a ‘compensation uplift’ by increasing any compensation it awards for sexual harassment by up to 25%, where there has been a breach of the employer’s duty in sexual harassment cases. A 25% uplift could be considerable, bearing in mind that the average sex discrimination award in 2022 was £37,607.

This is a subject which is likely to require training; particularly for managers.  If you would like to discuss bespoke management training, contact 121 HR Solutions on 0800 9995 121 to discuss how we can help.

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