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HR Magazine quotes Nick Hawkins on sexual harassment in the workplace

A former Swiss Re employee who won a sex and maternity discrimination and unfair dismissal tribunal last year is seeking £5.1 million pounds in compensation.

Nick Hawkins, Senior Associate, provides comment for HR Magazine on what employers can learn from this case and how employers can be sure that inappropriate comments are dealt with properly.

He comments:

"Instances such as this suggest egregious examples of sexual harassment in the workplace are not hard to find."

"A persistent problem we see in practice is claims arising out of instances where something allegedly intended as a joke is not taken as such. Indeed it is often the first line of defence that a perpetrator trots out: to say that a comment or action was intended as a joke. However, the law is clear that: it is all but irrelevant if they were joking.”

Nick adds:

"Employers should demand that senior staff and management walk the walk and take the lead on tackling these issues. Clearly, instances such as this case involving a senior member of staff are unhelpful for setting the tone for an employer.” 

Read the full article in HR Magazine here.

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