Sexual Harassment in the Workplace - Public Consultation

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About this consultation

 
Context

The Government is committed to tackling sexual harassment in all its forms, both at work and outside it. Sexual harassment has been against the law for decades and strong, clear laws against it are set out in the Equality Act 2010. However, even though these laws are in place, recent reports, including those of the #metoo movement, have shown that there is still a real, worrying problem with sexual harassment.

We want everybody to feel safe at work so they can succeed and thrive. We’re therefore looking at whether the current laws on this issue provide the protections they’re supposed to, considering whether there are any gaps, and thinking about what more can be done at a practical level to ensure people are properly protected at work.

To help us with this we want to understand people’s experiences, focussing on some particular issues we might be able to tackle through changes to the law:
  • employers’ role in preventing sexual harassment by members of their own staff; 
  • employers’ role in preventing sexual harassment of their staff by people from outside their organisation;
  • volunteers and interns’ legal rights to protection from harassment and discrimination;
  • people’s experiences of accessing justice, and any barriers they face.
Aim / Use of responses

The information we gather through this public consultation and the accompanying technical consultation, will be used to help us review the existing laws on sexual harassment, and to decide if any changes are required. The responses will also help us to develop non- legislative ways to tackle the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Who should respond

This consultation is open to UK residents only.

We would particularly like to encourage people to respond who:
  • have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, or associated issues such as sex discrimination;
  • have experienced sexual harassment in their role as a volunteer or intern, or associated issues such as sex discrimination;
  • have indirect experience of sexual harassment in the workplace, for example supporting a colleague who has been harassed.
  • has considered boing to an Employment Tribunal on harassment or discrimination grounds. 
If you are responding on behalf of an organisation, and/or have a view on the detailed legal elements of this issue, please see our accompanying technical consultation instead.