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Equality North East

Repeal of Equality Act third-party harassment provisions confirmed

The Government has announced that it will remove the third-party harassment provisions from the Equality Act 2010.

Section 40 of the Equality Act 2010 introduced the concept of third-party harassment, whereby an employer will, in certain circumstances, be liable for the harassment of an employee where it is carried out by a third party, for example a customer or supplier. Earlier this year, the Government launched a consultation on proposals to repeal these provisions on the basis that there is "no evidence to suggest that the third-party harassment provisions are serving a practical purpose or are an appropriate or proportionate manner of dealing with the type of conduct that they are intended to cover". The consultation closed on 7 August 2012 and the Government has confirmed that it will proceed with its proposals.

The Equality Act 2010 will also be amended to:

remove the questionnaire procedure that enables an individual who thinks that he or she has been discriminated against to gather information from the employer and enables the parties to use the individual's questions and the employer's response as evidence in the proceedings; and

require employment tribunals to order an employer to conduct an equal pay audit where it has breached the equal pay provisions under the Act, except in limited circumstances.

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October 11, 2012

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