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A Top 100 Law Firmwww.dmhstallard.com BULLYING AND HARASSMENT IN THE WORK PLACE 6 DECEMBER 2010 JENNY THORP.

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Presentation on theme: "A Top 100 Law Firmwww.dmhstallard.com BULLYING AND HARASSMENT IN THE WORK PLACE 6 DECEMBER 2010 JENNY THORP."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Top 100 Law Firmwww.dmhstallard.com BULLYING AND HARASSMENT IN THE WORK PLACE 6 DECEMBER 2010 JENNY THORP

2 DMH Stallard LLP LEGAL ISSUES Equality Act Protection from Harassment Act Constructive Dismissal Health and Safety Obligations Personal Injury

3 DMH Stallard LLP EQUALITY ACT Protected characteristics Prohibited conduct Liability for conduct “in the course of employment” Named Respondents

4 DMH Stallard LLP DEFINITION OF HARASSMENT Where a person engages in unwanted conduct which is related to one or more of the protected characteristics and which has the purpose or effect of: –violating the dignity of another person; or –creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment Perception of recipient One or series of acts

5 DMH Stallard LLP SEXUAL HARASSMENT Occurs when a person engages in any unwanted verbal, non verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect of: –violating a person’s dignity; or –creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person

6 DMH Stallard LLP HARASSMENT BY THIRD PARIES Employers may be liable for harassment of their employees by third parties where: –an employee has been harassed on at least two occasions; and –the employer is aware the harassment has taken place but failed to take reasonable practical steps to prevent it happening again

7 DMH Stallard LLP CONSEQUENCES Employment Tribunal claim Compensation Recommendations County Court Claims Effect on workforce

8 DMH Stallard LLP PRACTICAL STEPS Policies and Procedures Support within the workplace Training for managers and staff Implementation Monitoring Handling grievance and disciplinary investigations Lead by example

9 DMH Stallard LLP Case Study(1) Barbara Patel works as a receptionist at a large hotel. Mrs Patel is white and blonde and is married to a muslim man. Mrs Patel regularly gets guests enquiring about her surname and commenting that she “doesn’t look like a ‘Patel’’. Mrs Patel mentions this to her manager who sympathises but says there is little she can do and advises Mrs Patel to ignore the comments

10 DMH Stallard LLP Case Study (2) Doris Smith is 75 years old and a regular guest at the hotel. Mrs Smith tells Mrs Patel that her youngest daughter is about to get married to a muslim man. Mrs Smith tells Mrs Patel that she is worried about some of the groom’s friends who may be at the reception and jokes that she hopes none of them are followers of Osama Bin Laden.

11 DMH Stallard LLP Case Study (3) Mrs Patel is shocked and offended by this comment but does not say anything. The following day Mrs Smith carries on the conversation with Mrs Patel and makes further comments about ‘bomb carrying muslims’. Mrs Patel complains to her manager who suggests that when Mrs Smith comes to reception, Mrs Patel should ask one of the other receptionists to deal with her. The manager makes a note of the conversation with Mrs Patel and s it to the HR Manager for her information.

12 DMH Stallard LLP Case Study (4) What, if any, prohibited conduct has taken place? If Mrs Patel were to bring a claim, what claim(s) would she bring and what defence could the hotel put forward.


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