The Equality Act 2010 - Still set to change
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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.
for harassment of their employees by third parties (visitors, clients,
customers etc) in the following circumstances:
A third party harasses an
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).
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.
lawyers have commented:
The government has failed to take
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
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.
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
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2013-04-02 12:03:24 in Legal Articles