Commenting on a recent harassment case, Claire Tait and Jac Davies outline key steps HR professionals should take to prevent and investigate such claims.
Tragically, over 32% of women say their careers have been affected by sexual harassment and over 70% have encountered or witnessed inappropriate behaviour from male colleagues at work.
As a HR professional, how can you tackle this issue for your organisation?
A recent case highlights the importance of having comprehensive anti-harassment and bullying policies, accompanied by regular training of all staff, including management.
This case concerned an office assistant working for a textile company. Throughout the duration of her employment, her boss had made numerous comments of a sexual nature, including:
It was found that the boss had created a degrading and humiliating work environment by holding outdated views of a subservient female and making comments of a sexual nature. This conduct amounted to harassment on the grounds of sex and both the employer and the boss were ordered jointly to pay her compensation of £18,984.
Where an employee has harassed another on the grounds of either sex, or another protected characteristic, the employer may not be liable where they have taken all reasonable steps to prevent the harassment from happening. Reasonable steps are likely to include:
If you are faced with a sexual harassment complaint, our team of experienced independent and impartial employment lawyers and investigators can provide hands on investigation support. Please call us for an initial chat on 0808 196 3151 or learn more here.