02 April 2008
Minister defends new employee harassment laws
A junior minister has spoken out in defence of new laws set to be introduced which prevent the harassment of employees by third parties.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4's PM programme, Barbara Follett said that, in bringing in the legislation, the government was responding to a complaint from the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC).
The EOC, which is part of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, said that the UK had not met a European Union directive protecting employees from harassment in the workplace by failing to implement legislation aimed at third parties, such as customers or suppliers of an establishment.
Under the new laws, employers could face sanctions if they are found not to have protected employees adequately against third party abuse.
Ms Follett said: "The EOC found that we had failed to do this in a court case and we have now rectified it and we are now protecting people against harassment by customers."