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Sexual Harassment

Before you can eradicate workplace sexual harassment you have to understand what it is. Unwanted conduct of a sexual nature that violates a person’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them is sexual harassment. Examples may include but are not exhaustive to one, or more, of the following:

  • Sexual comments or jokes, displaying sexually graphic pictures, posters or photos;

  • Propositions and sexual advances;

  • Sexual posts or contact on social media;

  • Intrusive questions about a person’s private sex life or discussing your own sex life, and;

  • Spreading sexual rumours about a person

Remember that sexual harassment can be between persons of the same or different sex and one-off occurrences are harassment. What may be considered a joke to one person can be harmful to another. Understanding this, section 109 of the Equality Act 2010 confirms employers are liable for any such acts carried out by employees in the course of their employment. If not managed correctly it will be financially and reputationally costly to the business.

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