The annual Employment Tribunal statistics, which were published in September, showed that the average award in sex discrimination cases was £85,622, for race discrimination cases it was £14,185 and in disability discrimination cases £21,729. Did you know that employers will usually be liable for their employees’ actions, even if they were done without the employer’s knowledge?
Employers have a statutory defence to discrimination cases, and can avoid liability, if they can show that they took all reasonable steps to prevent employees from committing a particular discriminatory act. However, whilst it helps to have an Equal Opportunities Policy, this will not be enough to make out the statutory defence. It is essential that employers take practical steps to implement the policy, which means that in order to rely on the “reasonable steps” defence employers need to:
- Put in place and implement an equal opportunities policy (and potentially an anti-harassment and bullying policy) and review these policies as appropriate;
- Make all employees aware of the policies and their implications;
- Provide training for managers and supervisors on equal opportunities and harassment issues; and
- Take steps to deal effectively with complaints, including taking appropriate disciplinary action against employees who breach the relevant policies.
We can offer bespoke training for your organisation in your workplace on equal opportunities and dealing with bullying and harassment at work. If you book training with us during November and December for delivery in 2016 or 2017 to suit you, you will be eligible for a special discounted rate on your training.
Please contact contact Jayne Harrison or Emma Tegerdine in our employment department by phoning Jayne on 0115 977 5834 firstname.lastname@example.org, or Emma on 0115 977 5824 email email@example.com.