The government’s planned repeal of the clauses dealing with Third Party harassment is alarming but a Trojan horse does still exist within Section 26 of the Equality Act 2010 which could be used in a tripartite scenario involving the employer/employee and customer. And it’s a Trojan horse the government will have to leave alone – rooted as it is in European directives. This Trojan horse is one that I am currently using in a case involving an employee visiting a customer (suffering detriments of various kinds) and one that I impart on my training courses. This horse for the course (forgive the pun) is of course ENVIRONMENTAL HARASSMENT.
Thus Third Party Harassment which is to be repealed is defined thus:-
Harassment of an employee related to a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 (other than marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity) by third parties, for example clients or customers.
Thus Environmental Harassment which stays in place is defined thus:-
A person (A) harasses another (B) if:-
(a)A engages in unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, and
(b) the conduct has the purpose or effect of (i) violating B’s dignity, or.
(ii) creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for B
No firm case law as yet on a tripartite scenario, but I am persuaded that this could be used as a Trojan Horse alternative to third party harassment. And of course the further provisions in the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and the Health, Safety AND Welfare regulations might also be levers that could be manipulated. The key phrase I am using internally with some success is “within the course of their employment etc etc”
What do you think?
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