Sexual harassment

The Equality Act 2010 prohibits three types of sexual harassment in the workplace.

The main type of sexual harassment is unwanted conduct of a sexual nature perpetrated on a particular person, for example unwelcome sexual advances.

Also prohibited is sex-related harassment, which means unwanted conduct related to the protected characteristic of sex. The unwanted conduct does not have to be directed towards the complainant or related to his or her actual sex. This could include telling jokes about women or making derogatory sexist remarks about women.

And less favourable treatment based on a person's rejection of or submission to sex-related harassment or sexual harassment is also unlawful. This could cover circumstances where a woman is rejected for promotion by her boss after turning down his sexual advances.


Police chiefs commit to developing sexual harassment action plan

Police chiefs have vowed to address sexual harassment across the force after it emerged a high proportion of police officers...

Schoolgirl awarded £16k in Pizza Hut sexual harassment case

13 Aug 2018

A 17-year-old schoolgirl receptionist at a Pizza Hut Delivery branch in east London has been awarded £15,800 after winning a...

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Presidents Club dinner agency vows to improve working environment

31 Jul 2018

The agency that supplied female staff for the men-only Presidents Club dinner earlier this year has entered into a legal...

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Employers must do more to protect against sexual harassment at work, says committee

25 Jul 2018

Attempts to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace have been inadequate and there has been a “failure to tackle unlawful...

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Sexual harassment: How HR can help develop a culture of respect

26 Jun 2018

Sexual harassment has been brought to the forefront of employers’ attention in recent months, following the rise of the #MeToo...

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Sexual harassment: Remember that men can be victims too

3 May 2018

Given the recent coverage of the #metoo campaign it’s easy to assume that the perpetrators of sexual harassment are always...

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Third of LGBT employees hide their sexual orientation at work

30 Apr 2018

Gay, bisexual and trans campaign group Stonewall last week called on employers to develop zero-tolerance policies on discrimination against employees...

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Save the Children investigated over handling of staff misconduct claims

11 Apr 2018

The charity Save the Children is being investigated by the Charity Commission over how it handled allegations of misconduct and...

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Employers should have legal duty to prevent sexual harassment

27 Mar 2018

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has recommended that the Government places a legal duty on employers to take...

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Marilyn Loden on 40 years of the ‘glass ceiling’

8 Mar 2018

Management consultant Marilyn Loden coined the phrase “glass ceiling” some 40 years ago. On International Women’s Day, she talks about...

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Charity scandal: can employers inform others about misconduct?

23 Feb 2018

Amid the misconduct scandal surrounding the charity sector, Oxfam and other charities suggest that better systems to inform other prospective...

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Sexual harassment complaints by lawyers run at one a month

20 Feb 2018

Complaints made by lawyers about sexual harassment by their colleagues totalled around one a month last year, according to the...

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Employers should disclose sexual harassment claims, says academic

19 Feb 2018

Organisations should be required to publish how much they have paid to settle sexual harassment cases, according to an academic...

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Oxfam sex scandal spreads to UK charity shops

13 Feb 2018

The sex scandal engulfing Oxfam’s operations overseas has now extended to its charity shops in the UK, after its former...

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MPs conduct inquiry into workplace sexual harassment

13 Feb 2018

MPs have launched an inquiry into workplace sexual harassment to discover how employers and the Government could better protect staff....

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