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11 Oct 2017
More disturbingly, the report suggests that nearly 80% of women who complained of sexual harassment did not tell their employer due to fears that their complaint would not be taken seriously or that reporting could adversely affect relationships at work or career prospects, this can be an incredibly lonely and isolating time for the victims of sexual harassment.
Employers would be wise to assume that simply because they have not received complaints about sexual harassment, that there is no sexual harassment within their workplace. In February 2016, an Employment Tribunal awarded £830,000 to a NHS HR Director who was constructively dismissed and harassed after she rejected sexual advances from the Trust’s Chairman.
While not all claims to an Employment Tribunal will result in such a large award, any claim has the potential to result in costly compensation and damage to an organisation’s reputation.
Employers have an obligation to prevent sexual harassment from taking place at work. Employers can be held responsible for the acts of harassment by individual employees if they do not take all reasonable steps to stop it.
Employers should consider:-
If you are a victim of sexual harassment at work or you need advice as an employer on how you can create an open environment for your employees, get in touch with our employment team today.
Harding Evans is a trading name of Harding Evans LLP, a limited liability partnership, registered in England & Wales (registered number: OC311802), authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number: 419663).