Harassment is defined by the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015 as unwanted conduct that’s associated with some of 9 motives. Sexual harassment is any kind of unwanted conduct of a sexual character. In both scenarios it’s defined and it’s illegal under the Acts.
Justice, Equality and Law Reform’s Department made an updated Code of Practice on Harassment and Sexual Harassment . The code attempts to foster the implementation and development of procedures and policies which establish environments free of harassment and sexual harassment and where everyone’s dignity is respected. The code’s conditions may be taken into consideration in any proceedings and admissible in evidence.
The code says that employers must adopt, implement and monitor a comprehensive, powerful and accessible policy on harassment and sexual harassment. The policy ought to be formulated in consultation with trade unions and workers and should determine which complaints will be managed; and what constitutes harassment and sexual harassment.
It’s considered harassment if the behavior has the purpose or effect of violating a individual’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment. Employers should take all reasonable actions to ensure a workplace free of sexual and other forms of harassment. Employers are vicariously liable for harassment carried out by their employees whether the activities were known about by the company or not. In that respect, Codes of Practice exist to direct companies on which processes or steps need to be established for the prevention of bullying and harassment at work. In the event the employer doesn’t take actions to block it, an employer will be responsible for harassment by its employees, customers, customers or business contacts.
Under Section 2 of the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act 2005, companies have a responsibility to control and conduct work activities in such ways as to prevent, as far as is reasonably practicable, any improper behaviour or behaviour likely to set the security, welfare and health of a worker in danger. A victim of sexual harassment comes with a menu of 3 recourses:
i. The sufferer can bring a claim under Employment Equality Acts to Circuit Court or the Equality Tribunal. Employer may be held accountable for harassment. When a complaint is made to the Equality Tribunal, the sufferer could be given compensation of 2 years’ salary or 10,000 in the event the complainant isn’t in receipt of remuneration. The victim may make a complaint
ii. Court can award aggravated or punitive damage
iii. The victim may file a complaint prior to the Safety and Health Authority under Safety Health and Welfare signaling that the company has failed in its obligation to the employee. Penalties for noncompliance with the provisions of act that is preceding might lead to penalties up to $300,000 or imprisonment term around 02 decades.
The Dos of an employer
Practicing attorneys recommend employers to begin from policies covering sexual harassment, harassment and bullying. It’s a type of a requirement for today’s companies due to their duties along with functions and codes. Although the adoption isn’t statutory required. Your coverage must explain what sort of behaviour is illegal, in addition to putting an individual or an authority responsible for preventing workplace harassment and fixing ailments that are related.
The policy has to be implemented
As an employer, you will not have the ability to prevent accountability for your workers’ improprieties, without taking any measures to execute it in the event that you draft the coverage. You need to bring it via general meetings, handbooks, newsletters or some other communication channels that are available. Training is advisable geared toward both men in your staff and charge. You have to examine the coverage to keep this up to date and according to current laws.
Keep your eyes open
On the one hand, it’s essential to observe your employees’ workplace behaviour so as to ensure your policy works good, and keep tabs on managing complaints or to show these issues which make it powerful. It is uncertain how the observation can be implemented by an employer. Should you invite your workers to have nice discussions about harassment? Do you run a type of polls? And how can anyone settle it early after they have known about the situation?
Specialists do consider that in this world, we can make use of tracking software and devices. However, employers need to be careful about violating the employees’ privacy.
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