Commenting in response to the consultation, Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD, said:
“A whole range of scandals across the business, charity and political spheres have demonstrated that sexual harassment at work is still far too commonplace, so we welcome this consultation from the Government.
“We would support the introduction of strengthened protection for employees against sexual harassment at work by third parties by making employer liability for this more explicit. We also believe there is a strong case to extend the time limit that employees have to make a claim to an employment tribunal from three to six months.
“We also back the introduction of a statutory Code of Practice on sexual harassment and harassment at work. However, while we welcome the focus on prevention of workplace harassment, we question whether or not introducing a new statutory duty on employers to prevent harassment will achieve the desired impact. Our view is that, as a first priority, we need stronger enforcement of the existing provisions of the Equality Act.”