A report by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) entitled “Turning the tables: ending sexual harassment at work” has recently been published.
The report recommends legal changes in order to provide improved protection to the victims of sexual harassment at work. The report has been published in the wake of a number of recent high-profile sexual harassment allegations in the news.
Recommendations within the report include a new code of practice on preventing harassment, longer tribunal time limits for harassment claims, a requirement for employers to publish their sexual harassment policies online, a mandatory duty on employers to take reasonable steps to prevent workplace sexual harassment – and this would be enforceable by the EHRC and the reintroduction and improvement of the repealed Equality Act provisions dealing with third party harassment. The report also includes statutory questionnaires and tribunals’ power to make recommendations affecting the wider workforce.
The report also recommends a legislative ban on the use of non-disclosure agreements or confidentiality clauses to prevent employees speaking out about future acts of harassment or discrimination, and a code of practice dealing with such clauses in settlement agreements for past acts.