Important new laws proposed for volunteering and charities

2nd September 2019

How proposed changes to sexual harassment law may affect charities and volunteers

The Government is currently consulting on new laws which could mean significant changes for charities and volunteering. One of the most far-reaching proposals is to extend legal protections of the Equality Act to volunteers, not just staff. This could dramatically change organisations’ responsibilities to their volunteers and liability for their actions.

The Government has opened a consultation on sexual harassment in the workplace and the legal protections available under the Equalities Act 2010. This has the potential to change how organisations safeguard and support not only their staff but also their volunteers. The consultation is open until 2 October so there isn’t long to have your say.

  1. Preventing harassment from happening
  2. Protecting people from harassment by third parties
  3. Extending protections to volunteers and interns
  4. Extending employment tribunal time limits

What the consultation is about

This consultation looks at whether there is more that the law could do to protect people in the workplace from sexual harassment.

The Equality Act 2010 says that employers are legally responsible if an employee is sexually harassed at work by another employee, and the employer has not taken reasonable steps to prevent this.

Despite the Act’s provisions, sexual harassment continues to be a worrying problem in workplaces across the country. The #metoo movement has drawn attention to the scale of unacceptable behaviour. The Presidents Club incident over a year ago showed how charities are unfortunately not immune from these problems.

Source: VODA  02/09/19



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