ACAS guidance: Sexual harassment & pregnancy and maternity discrimination

sex discrimination
  • Sexual harassment at work: Following the recent high profile sexual harassment cases, ACAS has published new guidance (available here).  This guidance assists employers with how to identify and support people who face sexual harassment at work. ACAS highlights a number of behaviours that could be interpreted as sexual harassment, including the display of explicit images, verbal or written sexual comments or innuendos, unwanted touching and inappropriate jokes or questions about a colleague’s sexual behaviour. In addition, the report encourages employers to have sexual harassment policies in place to ensure any incidents are quickly resolved and explains what action to take when historical allegations are reported.
  • Pregnancy and maternity discrimination: ACAS has published guidance for employers on how to prevent pregnancy and maternity discrimination at work and recommends several measures, including:
    • developing a policy that outlines the responsibilities and rights of pregnant employees (or those on maternity leave), including assurances that they will not be dismissed or made redundant as a result.
    • ensuring that employees on maternity leave are aware of all promotion and training opportunities.
    • making reasonable adjustments to protect the health and safety of a pregnant employee and their unborn child.

ACAS published its new guidance after receiving 14,000 calls about pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the last year (a 10% increase compared to the previous year).




sex discrimination