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And….You’re out: Third party harassment provisions repealed

BY Sarah Mennie
Employment Law & HR
BG Purple

From 1 October 2013, the third party harassment provisions will be repealed.  The provisions, known informally in the legal profession as the “three strikes and you are out” rule, allowed an employee to pursue a complaint under the Equality Act against his or her employer if the employer failed to take steps to prevent the repeated harassment of the employee by a third party, such as a customer or client.

The provisions were largely untested in the courts and this explains the Government’s view that they were an example of unnecessary regulation introduced without any real or perceived need.  

It’s important to note that the protection will still apply if the harassment happened before 1 October 2013.  For third party harassment which happens after this date, employees could still make a claim under the general harassment provisions of the Equality Act, claim constructive unfair dismissal or make a claim under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

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