In the run-up to the Christmas party season ACAS has published guidance aimed at workers experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, including how to report any incidents of unwanted conduct of a sexual nature.
The new guidance highlights overt kinds of behaviour which will normally amount to unlawful sexual harassment and which should not be tolerated. The guide includes examples of what may constitute sexual harassment.
The guidance advises employers to make clear to workers which behaviours are and are not acceptable in the workplace, as well as how senior staff should handle complaints where they arise. It also recommends that employers ensure they have clear procedures and policies for reporting allegations of sexual harassment.
Those policies should also include recommendations of how victims should deal with any form of harassment from persons in a position of power or influence. The policies should also confirm that all allegations will be taken very seriously and that perpetrators of sexual harassment will be dealt with in accordance with an employer's disciplinary policies and procedures as appropriate.