Under the Equality Act 2010, an employer could, in certain circumstances, be liable for the harassment of an employee by a third party, i.e. a customer or supplier. The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill is set to remove this provision.
This change to the law follows a recent consultation that indicated these provisions served little practical purpose.
Further information is awaited on the Governments proposals. Although they have indicated that the questionnaire procedure and liability for third party harassment will be repealed in March 2013, the House of Lords have returned the Bill to the House of Commons with amendments. The amendments will be considered on 16 April 2013. The progress of the Bill can be followed at: https://services.parliament.uk/bills/2012-13/enterpriseandregulatoryreform.html, but we will keep you up to date on major developments.