Reforms to harassment law
The Government is consulting about reforms to harassment law. Proposals being considered include:
- reinstating the rule which made employers liable for harassment of their employees by a third party (this was repealed in 2013).
- extending protection against harassment to volunteers and interns
- extending the time limit for bringing an Employment Tribunal claim to from 3 to 6 months
- a new positive duty on employers to take all reasonable steps to prevent harassment. This would be enforceable by the EHRC as well as by individuals.
The consultation is open until 2 October 2019.
Modern slavery reporting requirements
The Government is also consulting about strengthening modern slavery reporting requirements. The consultation notes that most modern slavery statements published by businesses do not go beyond the legal minimum requirements. The proposed changes include a requirement for businesses to publish reports on specific factual areas (including, for example, details of their policies in relation to slavery and human trafficking) and a requirement to publish the reports on a central Government registry (rather like gender pay gap reports). The consultation is open until 17 September 2019.