Harassment
Harassment

The following Employment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Harassment
  • Which protected characteristics are covered
  • Types of harassment
  • Conduct must be related to a protected characteristic
  • Standard harassment—unwanted unpleasant conduct
  • Conduct of a sexual nature
  • Rejection of, or submission to, harassing behaviour
  • Actions of third parties
  • Harassment which is not protected
  • EHRC guidance on sexual harassment and harassment at work
  • more

Which protected characteristics are covered

There is protection from harassment where it relates to one or more of the following protected characteristics (see: Protected characteristics—overview):

  1. age

  2. disability

  3. gender reassignment

  4. race

  5. religion or belief

  6. sex, and

  7. sexual orientation

It will be noted that marriage, civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity are not explicitly protected; see: Harassment—Harassment which is not protected, below.

Types of harassment

There is one type of harassment which is common to all the protected characteristics which are covered (see above): see Standard harassment—unwanted unpleasant conduct, below.

Further types of harassment claim (in addition to standard harassment claims) are available in relation to conduct which is:

  1. of a sexual nature: see Conduct of a sexual nature and Rejection of, or submission to, harassing behaviour, below

  2. related to gender reassignment, or related to sex: see Rejection of, or submission to, harassing behaviour, below

Conduct must be related to a protected characteristic

Except where the harassing conduct is of a sexual nature, the claimant must show that the conduct was 'related to' one of the protected characteristics which are covered (see above).

This relationship with a protected characteristic must be shown:

  1. in all standard harassment cases

  2. in claims regarding the rejection of, or submission to, harassing behaviour, where the original harassment suffered is not of a sexual nature (in such cases