How to defend
If an employee harasses or everything reasonably practicable to familiarise employees with their
discriminates against another prevent the harassment taking place responsibilities under it, as well as
employee in the course of their in that it had: assisting them in understanding the
employment, the employer will potential discrimination/harassment
be liable for those acts. The · put in place a clear internal policy problems that they may encounter in
employer has a defence to such a which would have prevented the the workplace.
claim if it can show that it "took harassment if the manager had not
such steps as were reasonably disregarded it;
practicable to prevent the
employee" from taking the · taken steps to implement that
discriminatory action. policy and not just pay 'lip service'
to it; and
Employers have found it difficult in
the past to successfully argue this · investigated the complaint quickly.
defence. However, there has been a
recent case in which the Employment This case shows the importance and
Appeal Tribunal has upheld a decision value of a good equal opportunities
that the employer, in this case the policy. The policy should set out the
Ministry of Defence (MOD), had appropriate standards of behaviour in
indeed taken such reasonably the workplace and the consequences
practicable steps to prevent sexual if employees do not meet them. If you have any concerns on anything
comments being made by a manager Further, this policy cannot sit raised in this article please contact
to his junior and, therefore, defeated gathering dust on the shelf. An Caroline Leaver of Solnick LLP on
a discrimination claim. employer must ensure all employees 020 8996 4717 or
are fully aware of the policy, monitor email@example.com and she will be
It was held that the MOD had done its application and provide training to happy to advise you.