The Employment Appeals Tribunal has held that an employer who seeks to rely on the defence that it took reasonable steps to prevent the sexual harassment of one of its employees by another employee will only succeed if it can demonstrate that it took reasonable steps to prevent such conduct prior to the incident complained of.

What should employers do?

Employers should take reasonable steps to prevent harassment in the workplace.  This may be by ensuring that clear written policies relating to sexual discrimination and harassment are in place, by providing staff with training in these areas and by promoting a culture of compliance with such policies.

Simply taking steps after the event to prevent the recurrence of harassment is not sufficient.