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Guidelines Published To Protect Employees Against Sexual Harassment

April 4th, 2018

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published guidelines to protect people in the workplace against sexual harassment.

It is calling for the government to prevent employers from using non-disclosure agreements to hide cases of sexual harassment, and to extend the time limit for bringing a claim to an employment tribunal to six months.

Chief executive of the EHRC Rebecca Hilsenrath said their findings about how sexual harassment is dealt with was “truly shocking”.

“Corrosive cultures have silenced individuals and sexual harassment has been normalised,” she stated, adding: “We need urgent action to turn the tables in British workplaces; shifting from the current culture of people risking their jobs and health in order to report harassment, to placing the onus on employers to prevent and resolve it.”

Ms Hilsenrath stated that bosses need to take responsibility for what goes on in their workplace, otherwise staff may consult with employment solicitors about the unwanted attention they receive.

The new guidelines show progress is being made to protect employees, which is what the Trades Union Congress (TUC) also aims to achieve.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady commented that while more than half of women have endured sexual harassment at work, only 20 per cent have reported the incident. Therefore, more needs to be done by both the government and employers.

As well as employment law, Ms O’Grady noted that union representatives have an important role in supporting employees, and encouraged more workers to join a union to receive this protection in the workplace.

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