Inclusive Working Environments: How Are You Shaping Up?

February 12, 2024

In a significant move towards fostering safer and more inclusive work environments, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has announced its intention to update existing guidance on sexual harassment and harassment at work. The guidance will reflect the mandatory duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace - as set out in the Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023 (WPA).

Why is the EHRC updating guidance?

This initiative is in response to the forthcoming duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, as outlined in the WPA. The WPA marks a crucial milestone in the ongoing efforts to address and eliminate sexual harassment in professional settings. The Act represents a commitment to creating a workplace environment where individuals are protected from all forms of harassment and discrimination.

The legislation introduces a legal obligation for employers to take proactive measures to prevent sexual harassment within their organisations. This represents a shift from reactive approaches to a more preventative stance, emphasising the responsibility of employers to create and maintain safe working environments.

What is the EHRC role?

The EHRC is a key institution responsible for upholding equality and human rights in the UK and it plays a pivotal role in guiding organisations towards compliance with legislative changes. The commission's decision to update its guidance reflects a commitment to providing employers with the tools and knowledge necessary to navigate the evolving landscape of workplace protections.

The EHRC’s revision to the current guidelines aims to offer employers clear and actionable guidance on implementing effective measures to prevent sexual harassment within their respective workplaces.

Current guidance vs. proposed changes

These proposed changes reflect a shift towards a more comprehensive and proactive approach to preventing sexual harassment in the workplace, ensuring that organisations are well-equipped to create safer and more inclusive environments for all employees.

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