Research perspectives

Highways England signs agreement on protection from sexual harassment in the workplace

Highways England has signed a legally binding agreement with the Equality and and Human Rights Commission after a staff member was awarded £74,000 in compensation for sexual harassment and unfair dismissal.The agency signed a Section 23 agreement ( a provision under the Equality Act 2006) and is now committed to improving protection from sexual harassment in the workplace for its 5,000 employees.

Key measures in the agreement include:

  • implementing a new Respect at Work Policy;
  • updating its E-learning module on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, which will be mandatory for all employees to complete;
  • refreshing Recruitment and Onboarding materials to reflect best practice;
  • appointing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Champions;
  • launching a new Redeployment Policy;
  • conducting practical training in discipline and grievance investigations and hearings for managers;
  • revising the case escalation process;
  • legal training for leaders and managers;
  • completing risk assessments in relation to sexual harassment and putting mitigations in place to manage identified risks