‘Pub banter and joked with colleagues can amount to sexual harrassment even if unintended and businesses must train staff to be aware of risks at after-work events, the equality watchdog has warned.
Unwanted jokes and even facial expressions can also amount to unacceptable behaviour even if ‘that is not how it was intended’, warns Rebecca Hilsenrath, who chairs the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
She outlined the concerns in a letter to 400 major firms which called for stringent anti-harassment policies in light of the ‘Me Too’ scandal.
The ‘unwanted conduct’ highlighted also includes pranks, social media contact and mimicry, the letter said.
Companies are advised to follow a series of steps and technical guidance which the EHRC hopes will eventually ‘become statutory guidance enforceable by law’.’