EU legislation on sexual harassment

June 2002
Accountancy;Jun2002, Vol. 129 Issue 1306, p84
Trade Publication
This article presents information related to a legislation that prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace throughout the European Union (EU). It is scheduled to come into force in 2005. It defines sexual harassment as a form of discrimination, and requires employers to implement measures to prevent it in the workplace. The legislation in the shape of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the case law interpreting the relevant provisions already cover sexual harassment. In Great Britain, there is no limit on compensation. There is no formal definition of sexual harassment in Great Britain's law. The new EU Directive defines it as taking place `where any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature occurs with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, in particular when creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.' This formal definition, while necessary might be troublesome, according to some legal opinion and may cause Great Britain to follow the U.S. practice by introducing `anti-dating' policies.


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