The following Employment Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley in association with Emilie Bennetts at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:
An employer may be liable for contraventions of the Equality Act 2010:
on its own behalf
vicariously, for the acts of its employees
as principal, for the acts of its agents
by third parties, in the case of persistent harassment of employees
Employees and agents may also be personally liable for their own contraventions of the Equality Act 2010 (see ‘Liability of employees and agents’ below), provided the employer or principal is vicariously liable for it as well, or would be but for the fact that the employer establishes the employer’s defence (see defences to vicarious liability under ‘Vicarious liability of employers’ below).
An employer, principal, employee or agent may also be liable for:
instructing, causing or inducing contraventions of the Equality Act 2010
aiding contraventions of the Equality Act 2010
An employer will be liable for any contravention of the Equality Act 2010 committed by a person it employs, provided that the act that constitutes the contravention is done in the course of that person’s employment.
A very broad variety of acts will be treated as being done ‘in the course of employment’. Protection is not restricted just to situations where the employee performs an act that they are required to do as part of their job, and does so in a discriminatory way. The context in which the act was performed matters more than the nature of the act itself, so important considerations will include factors such as whether or not:
it occurred inside the workplace
it occurred during working hours
the employees involved were wearing work uniforms at the time
Employers will be vicariously liable even where the relevant act was done without the employer’s knowledge or approval.
An employer is not, however, vicariously liable for any criminal offence under the Equality Act 2010 committed by a person it employs.
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