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Keeping up to date

We take seriously our responsibility to keep you up to date so that you can use changes in employment law to commercial advantage. By understanding and interpreting the latest case law and legislation we can deliver updates to you that are concise and usable. With imagination, we are able to ensure that developing law can be used to allow you to achieve commercial solutions, cost effectively and expediently.

Free speech v harassment

Posted on: April 19th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

There’s plenty on the world agenda to keep us all debating. Whether it’s views on the royal family, race and ethnicity, the environmental agenda, or women’s rights, there’s plenty to discuss.

Whilst many employers want to encourage conversation, sharing, and transparency, expressing (or not expressing) views can result in conflict and harassment claims. Here are a few little known facts about harassment claims:

  1. The employee who is offended does not need to possess the protected characteristic at the root of the claim. For example, a white employee could issue a claim about offensive comments made about another individual’s race;
  2. The offending comments do not need to be directed at the employee – simply experiencing an offensive environment is sufficient to bring a successful claim;
  3. The offended employee could have encouraged the offensive behaviour yet still have the chance of litigating successfully.

In the next update, we’ll share our views on supporting a balanced work environment without creating litigation vulnerabilities. If you’d like support with promoting equality, diversity and inclusivity, please get in touch here for further advice.


This update is accurate on the date it was sent (20 April 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.