Equality Act third-party harassment laws to be repealed

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The government has announced it is going ahead with plans to repeal several sections of the Equality Act 2010, including those protecting employees from third-party harassment.

Third-party harassment laws, covered by Section 40 of the Act, stipulate that an employer will, in certain circumstances, be liable for the harassment of an employee where it is carried out by a third party, such as a customer or supplier.

However, earlier this year, the government launched a consultation on proposals to repeal these provisions as part of its efforts to reduce the amount of legislation faced by employers under its ‘Red Tape Challenge’.

And following the close of the consultation in August, the Home Office this week (October 10th) announced that it is to go ahead with plans to repeal the legislation.

In addition, the government is also to scrap the section of the Act which grants employment tribunals the power to make wider recommendations to employers in workplace discrimination cases.

“In our view, the types of recommendations made in the tribunal cases so far show that in practice, wider recommendations have tended to be obvious and non-technical,” it said.

Reacting to the announcement, the TUC claimed that the repeals will make it easier for employers to discriminate against staff and “let bad bosses off the hook”.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said the plans “make a mockery of the claim that equality is at the heart of this coalition government”.

“Getting rid of third party harassment will make working life even harder for the thousands of care home staff, teachers and health workers who suffer prejudice and abuse from those they are trying to help,” he said.

“And taking away the power of tribunals to make recommendations to employers will make it much more difficult to deal with employers who serially bully and discriminate against their staff.”

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2 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Welcome to bullying Britain.

  2. i have to agree with the comment ‘ Welcome to bullying britain’.

    My partner works for a private company selling overseas property and his boss, via other employees, gets them to do his bidding by passing the message on of how ‘angry he is’, ‘how he is looking to sack people if they dont come up with the goods’, and when he does talk to his employees he actually uses abusive language,again, the intimidation tactic by how he will have to sack people, and its all not good enough. He must have used this learnt behaviour time and time again, and got results…but as most people know these days, this behaviour is not sustainable in a recession, you have to think and act cleverly.

    However, professionally and legally, he is totally out of order and i have advised my partner of how to deal with this person, but, he has decided to look for other employment elsewhere, feeling their is no use of fighting someone who is so stuck in time.

    This person is a bully, and is getting away with it by using intimidation tactics. We need to ensure that employers behave in a professional manner, that we as a society do not tolerate such abuse from an employer , and they should be held accountable.

    The climate that we are still in, regardless of what we may hear on the news, is still real for many of us, and the law is what the ordinary man in this country is relying on to ensure that we have a fair and just system and ways of working for both parties, for the Employer and employee.

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