Harassment is a type of discrimination. It happens when a person engages in unwanted conduct which is related to a relevant Protected Characteristic and which has the purpose and effect of violating an employee’s dignity, creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the employee.
The Equality Act 2010 prohibits three types of harassment. They are:
1. Harassment related to a relevant Protected Characteristic;
2. Sexual harassment;
3. Less favourable treatment of an employee because they submit to, or reject, sexual harassment related to sex or gender reassignment
The relevant Protected Characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment; race, religion or belief; sex, sexual orientation
Example: During a training session attended by both male and female workers, a male trainer directs a number of remarks of a sexual nature to the group as a whole. A female worker finds the comments offensive and humiliating to her as a woman. She would be able to make a claim for harassment, even though the remarks were not specifically directed at her.