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.


Sexual harassment: Remember that men can be victims too

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

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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Presidents Club scandal: Is there any value in non-disclosure agreements?

9 Feb 2018

Reports of sexual harassment at the recent Presidents Club charity dinner form part of a worrying trend of unwanted behaviour...

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More protection needed against sexual harassment by third parties

23 Jan 2018

The law should be strengthened to protect women from sexual harassment by third parties, as well as colleagues, a gender...

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Do social networks increase exposure to sexual harassment claims?

17 Jan 2018

There is a school of thought that new forms of digital technology have driven a new wave of sexual harassment...

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Zero hours workers subject to more sexual harassment

11 Dec 2017

Two fifths of women and a fifth of men in the UK say they have experienced unwanted sexual behaviour at...

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Sexual harassment: the rise of historical allegations

31 Oct 2017

With the reports of historical sexual harassment in Hollywood and now Parliament, employees may feel increasingly able to come forward...

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