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The Equality Act 2010 - Still set to change

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Lawdit Solicitors - Expert Author

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08 March 2013

Despite strong resistance the government is still planning to repeal sections on third party harassment provisions in the Equality Act 2010. A Decision was made to go ahead with repeals to the legislation in October 2012, the changes are set to take effect by April of this year. 

liable for harassment of their employees by third parties (visitors, clients, customers etc) in the following circumstances:

  • A third party harasses an employee during the course of their employment and the employer fails to take reasonably practical steps to prevent the third party from harassing their employee.

  • And the employer was aware on at least two occasions that their employee was being harassed in the course of the employees employment. (The harassment need not have been carried out by the same person).

 The governments justification for the repeal:

  • No evidence exists that the provisions serve a practical purpose or are an appropriate or proportionate manner of dealing with the above conduct.

  • Statistics show that the employment tribunal have ruled on only one case since the provisions came into effect in 2008.

  • Businesses have no direct control over third party harassment and employees have alternative legal remedies available for such harassment.

 Employment lawyers have commented:

  • The government has failed to take account of the legislations deterrent effect.

  • The removal of the provisions may result in greater uncertainty with employers being unsure about their legal obligations and employees seeking differing avenues of redress.

  • The provisions very existence helped to cultivate an expectation that employers are obliged to accept responsibility for ensuring their staff are not subject to third party harassment whilst in the course of employment.

 Although legislation obviously exists to protect individuals from harassment in general, following the repeal there will be nothing in the Equality Act that makes explicit reference to employer liability, worrying news for those accustomed to being in prolonged contact with the general public whilst in the course of employment.

Written by Rehana Ali on 


About the Author

Lawdit Solicitors offer services and advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.



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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2013-04-02 12:03:24 in Legal Articles

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