The Work Couch

The Work Couch: Sexual harassment in a post #MeToo era – (Part 2) with Macaela Joyes

Published on 31 May 2023

Welcome to The Work Couch, the podcast series where we explore how your business can navigate today's tricky people challenges and respond to key developments in the ever-evolving world of employment law.

The topic of workplace sexual harassment continues to feature in today's headlines: from NHS staff reporting 20,000 alleged incidents of sexual misconduct by patients in the last five years, to recent research by the TUC that found more women had experienced sexual harassment at work, than those who had not.

So how do employers ensure they deal with allegations effectively? What should they avoid saying at the outset of an investigation? How should they approach their obligations towards the accused harasser? 

Ellie Gelder talks to employment law expert Macaela Joyes about:

  • Where the law draws the line on workplace "banter";
  • How tribunals have approached cases where the claimant has appeared to "go along with" sexualised jokes, or initiated banter as a coping mechanism;
  • Five general principles to guide employers when dealing with an allegation of sexual harassment;
  • Ensuring impartiality where either the alleged victim or alleged perpetrator is a senior employee; and
  • Dealing with complaints involving a criminal investigation by the police, and how to balance your obligations as an employer.

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All information is correct at the time of recording.  

The Work Couch is not a substitute for legal advice.