Employer May Be Liable For Third Party Harrassment

25th October 2011
Employer May Be Liable For Third Party Harrassment image

Third Party Harrassment

The case of Sheffield City Council –v- Narouzi may be of concern to all employers.  Here the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that the Employer (Sheffield City Council) was liable for acts of harassment carried out by a child in a Care Home against one of its employees.

In this case, the employee was Iranian and employed by the Council as a Residential Social Worker at a home for troubled children. One of the children was regularly offensive to him on the grounds of race; often mocking his accent and saying that he should go back home.

Upset by this behaviour, Mr Narouzi went on sick leave and subsequently brought a claim of harassment against the Council.  It was held that the Council, despite being informed of the harassment, did not act to prevent the behaviour.  As a result of the Council’s inaction, it was held liable for the harassment.  The Council’s appeal failed.

Daven Naghen, head of the Employment Team commented as follows:-

“This is a serious warning to all employers.  If you become aware or ought to be aware that your staff are being harassed at work on the grounds of race, sex, religion etc by third parties such as clients, customers and suppliers etc then you must act.  You have a duty to protect the employee and try to prevent the harassment.  If you do not act, or fail to do what is reasonable then you may face a big claim.  If a client, customer or supplier is harassing a member of your staff then at the very least you will have to warn that third party against such future conduct and possibly also warn them that you may have to end your business relationship if the offending conduct continues.  If the offending conduct then continues you may then have to end the business relationship to avoid a possible harassment claim.  However each case will depend upon its own facts.  You should seek legal advice if this sort of scenario arises within your own business.”

If you need advice on such matters then please contact either Daven Naghen on 01775 722261, daven.naghen@maplessolicitors.com or at 23 New Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 1DH or Gemma Mayer on 01775 722261, gemma.mayer@maplessolicitors.com or at 23 New Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 1DH.


How Banks are Cashing in on Wills image

How Banks are Cashing in on Wills

Recent headlines have reported how banks are now cashing in on Wills.

During the 1990s and early 2000s, banks offered customers low cost Wills (or sometimes even free Wills) but the small print allowed the bank to charge extortionate rates to act as Executors. It is reported that banks are expecting billions of pounds of revenue from their Will writing services and administering estates and in some cases their fees have been over £12,000 to administer an estate as they look to charge a fixed fee PLUS a percentage of the deceased’s wealth.

If you or a loved one has made a Will through a bank we would urge you to check who you have appointed as Executors and check any small print which you may have signed. If you are unsure then please speak with one of our lawyers in the Wills and Probate team who can look at your existing Will with you. It may be appropriate to make a new Will which revokes any previous Will you have made which could save your family thousands of pounds when your estate needs to be administered.

In the majority of cases, when someone has passed away we can provide the family with a quote of how much the legal fees will be so that there are no nasty surprises once the administration is complete.

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