Understanding, preventing and meeting the legal duties to stop sexual harassment at work. All employers have a legal duty to prevent sexual harassment at work, this training course helps participants understand the issues and meet their duties better.
Delivered as a one-day face to face, or a three module online virtual classroom course, it helps employers understand and meet their duty to prevent sexual harassment at work. The course explores the signs and symptoms of sexual harassment, what sexual harassment may look like in the workplace and then considers what can be done to prevent to sexual harassment at work and help participants meet their legal duties.
Under the Equality Act 2010, employers are already required under the law to “take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment of workers by their colleagues” But the impact of scores of victim reports and numerous adverse tribunal decisions prompted the House of Commons Select Committee to carry out a public consultation during 2019. The results are in, and one message is clear “sexual harassment is rife” in the world of work and beyond. More than half (54 per cent) of those surveyed said they had experienced sexual harassment at work.
Against this background, the Government announced that it will:
- Bring forward legislation to create a new “preventative duty” for employers to address in order to deter sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Introduce a duty to protect employees from harassment by third parties, such as customers or clients, and publish new guidance and a statutory code of practice for employers on how to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Consider extending the time allowed to bring sexual harassment cases to employment tribunal from three to six months.
In preparation for these changes, it is important that employers take stock now of their existing anti-harassment policies as well as making sure that they have a robust framework in place to prevent harassment in the first place. So often “Banter” (a slippery word) can escalate into discriminatory practices leading to isolation, unpleasant language & gestures, physical attack, and the resignation of the victim.
Module 1 – Understanding the issues
Module one helps participants understand the problem better, what sexual harassment looks and feels like, how to identify where it may be taking place and why so few people report it. In doing so It aims to gain buy in to the need to stamp this evil out.
- Existing definitions of harassment and bullying generally
- A specific definitive focus on sexual harassment
- A global perspective – Australia and India
- Typical issues and behaviours reported to UK Employment Tribunals
- Six reasons why sexual harassment goes unreported
- Spotting the signs of sexual harassment
- Characteristics of perpetrators
- Methods used by perpetrators:
- In Work
- Out of Work
- Cyber Space and social-media
Module 2 – Understanding the laws and duties
Building on module one this session illustrates why employers are already under a duty to prevent bullying and harassment at work, including sexual harassment and considers how the Government may strengthen these duties. It moves on to consider what tools and approaches employers can use to help prevent issues within their own business or organisation and the fines they may face if they get it wrong.
- The existing legal framework:
- The Equality Act
- Employment Rights Act
- Health, Safety and Wellbeing at Work Regulations
- Protection from Harassment Act
- Malicious Communications Act
- Penalties, Compensation and Consequences
- Tribunal compensation monetary awards
- Adverse publicity and reputational damage
- Potential for fines or custodial sentences where individual breach criminal statute
- Unlimited fines for ongoing non-compliance of Equality and Human Rights directives
- Proposals for Change – Crystal Ball and Breaking News
- A new preventative duty
- Third Party harassment
- Tribunal time limits
Module 3 – Preventing sexual harassment at work and meeting the legal duty
- Handling Harassment should it occur
- How to deal with any harasser – tips and techniques
- The need for clear policies and procedures
- The Policy Framework
- Corporate Governance
- Staff, Interns and Volunteers
- Customers and Other Stakeholders
- Out of Work activities
- Monitoring and Review
- Employers Duty of Care
- Framework for creating a convivial workplace
- Swift investigation of grievances and complaints
- Step by step procedural steps
- Clarity with customers and clients
- Sources of further advice, help and support.