Employment update: #YouToo?

After the recent, well-publicised reports of sexual harassment in Westminster and the USA, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) gathered evidence from individuals and employers on how employers deal with sexual harassment.

Their findings have been published in their report: ‘Turning the tables: ending sexual harassment at work’ in which workers describe how their careers and health have been ‘damaged by corrosive cultures which silence individuals and normalise harassment’.

The report recommends:

  • a change in workplace culture, with employers having a mandatory duty to protect workers from harassment
  • greater transparency about incidents of harassment and the policies in place to prevent them
  • strengthening laws to increase protection for harassment victims.

The Government has responded to the report by condemning all forms of workplace harassment and promising to keep matters under review – it remains to be seen whether they will take any practical steps. In the meantime, employers should take steps such as providing diversity training; making it easy to report harassment; and protecting reporting individuals from victimisation.