All employers have a duty of care to protect their workers and will be legally liable for harassment in the workplace if they have not taken reasonable steps to prevent it.
This is according to the January 2020 guidance (pdf) from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) which offers a legal explanation and practical examples of how to tackle and respond effectively to harassment.
The guidance states:
- While recent research largely concentrates on sexual harassment, it is clear that harassment related to sex such as unwanted sexist comments is a problem too
- Reducing the barriers that stop women participating fully in the workplace is central to the future success of the UK economy
- Over 70 per cent of Asian and Black workers reported that they had experienced racial harassment at work in the last five years
- Experiences of age discrimination were also affected by factors such as gender. For example, the chances of a man experiencing age discrimination are about eight per cent lower compared to a woman.