What qualifies as sexual harassment is a subjective test. A common definition of sexual harassment is "unwanted conduct based on sex affecting the dignity of women and men at work." The individual on the receiving end of that conduct is the one who determines whether or not it is acceptable. The test has to be a subjective one because what offends one person may not offend another. When an individual is subjected to unacceptable behaviour, they should make their feelings known. Then, if the behaviour continues, that individuals solicitor may have a claim for sexual harassment to take before the Liverpool Employment Tribunal.


Presently there is no specific statute that covers sexual harassment. Rather, the Employment Tribunal in Liverpool renders decisions in these cases using the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the EC Equal Treatment Directive 76/207. Occasionally some incidents of sexual harassment are so serious as to amount to a criminal offence under the Protection From Harassment Act 1997. Criminal harassment cases can also be brought by a solicitor to the County Court in Liverpool as a civil claim for damages.

What is Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment comes in many forms. One type of sexual harassment involves requests for sexual favors or demands for various sex acts. Sometimes the harassment includes physical contact, such as unwanted touching or fondling on top or underneath the victim's clothing. Sexually suggestive behaviour, which includes exposure of the genitals or threats of indecent exposure, is another type of sexual harassment.


However, an act does not have to be as explicit as those outlined above in order to qualify as sexual harassment. A suggestive look or unwelcome remark about an individual's appearance can also be sexual harassment. Other examples include sexually provocative language, verbal threats and indecent suggestions. Below is a list of actions and behaviours which the Liverpool Employment Tribunal has deemed sexual harassment in the past:

  • Asking for sexual favours.
  • Suggestive gestures or remarks.
  • Acts or threats of sexual violence.
  • Fondling or other unwanted touching.
  • Inappropriate jokes.
  • Viewing pornographic websites.
  • Unwanted sexual advances.
  • Lewd or vulgar comments.
  • Sexual innuendoes.
  • Forwarding inappropriate emails.
  • Badgering for attention.
  • Displaying obscene or suggestive material.


Though the Employment Tribunal (ET) is a public forum, the anonymity of the individual bringing the claims can be protected. Upon application by a solicitor, the ET has the discretion to make a "restricted reporting order" in order to protect the identity of the claimant in cases that involve particularly explicit conduct.

Employers Responsibility

In some cases an employer in LIverpool can be held legally responsible for sexual harassment even if they are not the one who committed the offending act. If the employer failed to take action after receiving a complaint of sexual harassment, then that employer is responsible for one employee's harassing of another employer. The law requires every employer to have a policy regarding sexual harassment in the workplace and provide guidance on how to deal with harassment should it occur. All employees must be informed of the policy. Currently there is no statutory limit on the amount of damages that can be awarded in cases of sexual harassment. In fact, the Employment Tribunal has the discretion to award aggravated damages when the behaviour complained of is especially offensive.

Equal Opportunities Commision

Equal Opportunities Commission provides guidance to employers to help them prevent and deal with sexual harassment in the workplace. Below are some of the suggestions offered by the Equal Opportunities Commission:

  • Implement a clear, comprehensive sexual harassment policy.
  • Continue to monitor and update the policy to ensure that it remains effective.
  • Be sure that everyone in the workplace is aware of the policy and thoroughly understands it.
  • Take complaints of sexual harassment seriously and be sensitive to the serious impact it can have on the victim.
  • Lead by example and hold supervisors and managers personally responsible.

No Win No Fee Solicitors

Our sexual harassment solicitors are qualified to handle all legal matters relating to employment disputes. They can provide representation to individuals located anywhere in the United Kingdom for sexual harasssment compensation claims. All of the solicitors are specialists in employment law. The first step is to attempt to negotiate a settlement with the employer. Where negotiations fail, the solicitors have the skills and experience to apply to the ET and get you fair compensation for your sexual harasssment compensation claims.


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