Employers must be on their guard this Valentine’s Day, or risk costly sex discrimination claims, lawyers have warned.
Sending cards and making declarations of love in the workplace could be classified as an “unwanted sexual advance”, according to Employment Law
Advisory Services (ELAS).
Peter Mooney, head of consultancy at the firm, said: “It might seem like a joke and a bit of fun at the time. But the risks to employers on Valentine’s Day are real and extremely serious.”
“Bosses have to navigate a minefield in terms of all the things that can go wrong, and the cost of getting it wrong can be huge. A tribunal on charges of sexual discrimination can lead to firms facing uncapped awards against staff.”
The British Retail Consortium estimates that about £2.4bn will be spent on cards, chocolates, flowers and jewellery this Valentine’s Day.