With the reports of historical sexual harassment in Hollywood and now in Parliament, and the growth of the #MeToo hashtag, employees may now feel increasingly able to come forward with such claims in the workplace.

Employers should deal with any complaints of historic sexual harassment in line with their anti-harassment and bullying policy. If you do not have these policies in place, then you should follow your grievance procedure and decide if the allegation needs to be treated as a disciplinary issue in respect of the person the claim is made against.
There is also a risk that the alleged victim could bring a claim for sexual harassment against you the employer, under the Equality Act 2010. If an employment tribunal is convinced that the employee was sexually harassed, then an order could be made to pay the employee compensation to cover “injury to feelings” and any financial losses incurred by the harassment.
However, if you the employer can show that you took reasonable steps to prevent the harassment from happening, such as having appropriate policies in place and making all your employees aware of the polices and their implications, then you may avoid the liability, so it is essential that all managers and supervisors are trained in and aware of equal opportunities and harassment issues.

If you require advice concerning any of the issues raised in this blog, contact one of our consultants who will be happy to help on 01284 774726 or email info@totally-hr.co.uk

Source: XpertHR, 31 October 2017