Changes to harassment law ‘will not benefit employers’

Lawyers have criticised the Government’s intention to “water down” discrimination law by removing legislation on third-party harassment, claiming the move is neither wanted nor needed by businesses.

Last week, the Government confirmed that it would repeal provisions in the Equality Act 2010 that make employers liable for harassment of their staff by third parties.

The Law Society rejected the removal of the provisions, saying that they were beneficial to employers.

Angharad Harris, chair of the Law Society’s employment law committee, explained that, under the Equality Act, an employer is not held responsible for the third-party harassment in itself, but for failing to act when it happens or for not taking steps to prevent it.

She said: “The benefit of the third-party harassment provisions is that they have encouraged best practice among employers and this, in turn, helps to reduce potential incidents of harassment at work.”…



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