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The Equality & Human Rights Commission has written to the chairs of FTSE 100 companies and other leading employers demanding evidence of their sexual harassment prevention initiatives. The chairs must provide details of safeguarding, reporting and future plans to prevent harassment. The Commission's letter warns that where there is evidence of a systemic failure to deal with sexual harassment, they will take legal action.
The Commission has also launched "Sexual harassment and the law" guidance for employers. enei chief executive Denise Keating commented:
“The EHRC’s guidance is a timely reminder as we head into Christmas party season of employer’s responsibilities. Whilst it is to all of our shames that people still need to be reminded about what is acceptable in the workplace, the horror stories frequently being revealed in the media demonstrate that many of those who should know better are exhibiting unacceptable behaviours.
“Employers must ensure that they have robust reporting and management procedures that prevent sexual harassment from being swept under the carpet. Whether committed by employees, clients or customers, the onus is always on the employer to protect staff from sexual harassment, and we have seen that Employment Tribunals are more than happy to impose punitive awards on employers who neglect their duty of care.”