When the Equality Act 2010 was passed, it combined and clarified all of the different pieces of discrimination legislation. It contained a provision which meant that an employer could be liable for harassment of a worker by a third party, (such as a customer or supplier), if that third party had:
- harassed the worker on at least two previous occasions; and
- the employer had failed to take reasonable practicable steps to stop the harassment.
- The government is now removing this provision from 1st October 2013.
There was an outcry from employers’ organisations, such as the CBI, when the ‘third party harassment’ provision was included in the Equality Act. They argued that employers, in practice, have no control over third parties and that it was unreasonable for them to be liable for any harassment by those parties.
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