Allegations of harassment brought against an employer can often rely on the “reasonable steps” defence under s109(4) Equality Act 2010 that the employer had taken all reasonable steps to prevent the harassment by training their employees.
The recent case of Allay v Gehlen has held that this defence will not be successful where that training has become “stale” and needs refreshing. In this claim of harassment related to race , the fact that racist comments were made and that managers did not report these comments once they were made aware, combined with the fact that the training had taken place a year earlier, demonstrated that a reasonable step would have been to refresh the training.
This is a reminder to employers that training is a continuous process, and monitoring is essential to ensure that training does not become stale.
For information or help please contact Wendy Davison [email protected]