- Written by
- Emma Thompson, Partner
The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill received Royal Assent on 26 October 2023, to become the Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023. The main focus of the act is to place a responsibility on employers to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment of their employees in the workplace.
The Act came into force on 27 October 2023. The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023 amends the Equality Act 2010 to introduce a new duty on employers to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment of their employees.
This was amended from the original Bill as it passed through the House of Lords, from having the employer take “all reasonable steps” to protect employees, to just having to take “reasonable steps”. The Lords additionally objected to the re-introduction of an employer’s liability for the harassment of employees by third parties in the course of employment (which was repealed in 2013) and removed the relevant provision in its entirety.
Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat and MP for Bath, sponsor of the Bill, acknowledged that the amendments made in the House of Lords narrowed the scope of the Bill, however stated that the increased responsibility “will still send a strong signal to employers that they need to take action to prioritise prevention of sexual harassment and ultimately improve workplace practices and cultures”.
The Bill also gives employment tribunals the power to increase compensation by up to 25% where an employer is found to have breached the new duty to prevent sexual harassment. The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill will work alongside the Equality Act 2010 when it comes into effect next year.
For more information and to speak to a member of our Employment team, please contact us on 020 8290 0440.
10 May 2023
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