What happens when you don't prevent workplace bullying and harassment?

Preventing workplace harassment is no longer a 'nice to have', it's essential. For too long, organisations have adopted a reactionary approach to harassment in the workplace, tackling incidents on an individual basis as and when they arise.

During our latest webinar we discussed how to prevent and respond to harassment, and what you can do to protect your people and protect your business so what's happening to some of the largest organisations in the UK doesn't happen to you.

Catch up now:

 

Context:
With the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) asking organisations to demonstrate they are taking all reasonable steps to prevent harassment, and using its enforcement powers to come down on employers who are failing to protect people from harassment, it's more important than ever to take a preventative approach.

The first high-profile case of this was in August 2020, when leading supermarket chain Sainsbury’s had to sign a legally binding agreement with EHRC, after being found liable for sexual harassment against a member of staff.

These agreements are called Section 23s, and Sainsbury's have since been joined by the likes of Highways England, The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Pontins. In the case of Highways England this follows an employment tribunal which resulted in awarding a staff member £74,000 in compensation for sexual harassment and unfair dismissal.

The EHRC released some technical guidance in January 2020 outlining what employers need to do to tackle harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace.

These high profile cases are a reflection of the ever-increasing numbers of tribunal cases being brought and the increasing pressure for employers to take a proactive and preventative approach to stop it escalating to this point. And, if you don't the right steps there are organisations like EHRC who can and will enforce measures.

During this webinar, we hear from Caroline Prosser about what action you can take to prevent this.

Caroline is a Legal Director at Hill Dickinson LLP. She specialises in all aspects of employment law and education law. Her experience in this area includes being appointed as the external expert for the BBC on its bullying and harassment cases and being appointed to go into companies to audit HR practices and then change them.

If the financial and reputational impact isn't enough to convince organisations to make change, then perhaps hearing about the individual impact will. We also hear from Culture Shift's New Partnerships Director Scott McLellan, who is open about his experience of workplace bullying, the lasting impact on his mental health and how it changed the course of his career.

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