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Sexual Harassment

Question for Women and Equalities

UIN 126720, tabled on 5 February 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of laws tackling sexual harassment in the workplace.

Answered on

12 February 2018

The Government is clear that unwanted conduct in the workplace that violates a person’s dignity or creates a hostile or degrading atmosphere is unacceptable. Legal protection from such harassment in the workplace exists through the Equality Act 2010, with more serious, criminal offences covered in the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and the Sexual Offences Act 2003. We believe this legislation provides adequate protection for both men and women in the working environment; however, we will continue to keep the operation of the legislation under review, to ensure that it works as intended.

We also recognise that employers may try to get employees to sign away their rights in non-disclosure agreements. In fact the law makes any such agreement unenforceable, should an employee subsequently take action under the Equality Act or the criminal law.

Answered by

Women and Equalities