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.


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Google has released new workplace guidelines urging staff not to insult one another or make misleading comments about the company....

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19 Aug 2019

A former partner at high street law firm McMillan Williams has claimed it created a “morally bankrupt environment” that allowed...

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Alex Salmond: Botched HR investigation leads to £500k pay-out

14 Aug 2019

Former first minister Alex Salmond has received more than £500,000 in legal costs from the Scottish government following a botched...

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Armed forces: minorities more likely to make complaints

7 Aug 2019

Ministers “must get a grip” on tackling the disproportionately high number of complaints raised by female and ethnic minority armed...

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Emma Watson launches sexual harassment helpline

5 Aug 2019

Emma Watson says the scale of sexual harassment in the workplace may finally be understood as she launched a legal advice line to help women understand their rights.

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Employment law changes: 10 proposals in the pipeline for HR

2 Aug 2019

Amid all the political turmoil in July, employers will be forgiven for missing a flurry of proposed new employment laws...

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Duty of care and the employee accused of wrongdoing

31 Jul 2019

All HR professionals are familiar with the stress and anxiety associated with a grievance or disciplinary process. Ashleigh Webber examines...

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Steep rise in sexual harassment complaints involving law firms

26 Jul 2019

An apparent sharp rise in the number of sexual harassment complaints involving solicitors has drawn attention to law firms' misuse of gagging orders.

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New laws on misuse of NDAs in the workplace

22 Jul 2019

The government has announced legislation to address the misuse of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in the workplace – including clauses designed...

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armed forces harassment

MoD vows to tackle harassment and bullying in the armed forces

16 Jul 2019

New measures to stamp out the discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment in some areas of the armed forces have been...

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How employees are using social activism to make their voices heard

16 Jul 2019

With traditional union membership in decline, employees are finding new ways to voice their opposition to corporate decisions, as shown...

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Consultation includes protections from third-party sexual harassment

11 Jul 2019

The government has published its consultation on plans to strengthen protections against sexual harassment at work, including harassment from third...

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employers'-duty-prevent-sexual-harassment

Introduce sexual harassment duties on employers, campaign urges

26 Jun 2019

Unions, women’s rights organisations and charities have increased pressure on the government to make employers responsible for protecting their staff...

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nhs staff sexual harassment

Eight per cent of NHS staff sexually harassed in past year

20 Jun 2019

Only a fifth of NHS staff say their employer has implemented a sexual harassment policy, indicating that workers believe it...

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sexual harassment whistleblowing

Whistleblowing v grievance: how should sexual harassment be raised?

19 Jun 2019

Following high-profile allegations of sexual harassment by staff, employees are now more empowered to speak up about inappropriate behaviour than...

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