UK ratifies International Labour Organisation’s Violence and Harassment Convention

The UK has become the 11th country to ratify the International Labour Organisation’s Violence and Harassment Convention. The Convention is the first to recognise that everyone has a right to a workplace that is free from violence and harassment, including gender-based violence and harassment. It includes a common global framework for action to eradicate workplace violence and harassment.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission, with support from the UK government, is creating a statutory code of practice on sexual harassment and harassment in the workplace as well as producing employer guidance on effective action to protect individuals at risk of harassment. This followed the government’s response in July 2021 to the Government Equalities Office’s consultation on sexual harassment at work. There are no firm timescales for publication of the resources. As part of its response, the government also committed, when parliamentary time allows, to introducing a proactive duty on employers to prevent their employees from experiencing sexual harassment and specific protections for employees from harassment by third parties.

Source: Department for Work and Pensions: Press release, UK ratifies treaty tackling violence and harassment at work (7 March 2022).