I work in the hospitality sector, and unfortunately there are sometimes issues with harassment, as a result of inappropriate employee or even customer behaviour. Are there any steps I can take to prevent this? 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have published a checklist and action plan for employers operating within the hospitality sector, focused on preventing sexual harassment at work. These include triggers that can arise during work that could make harassment more likely to occur. 

Action Points

  • Make sure more than one person is deciding the rota
  • Make sure nobody works alone and make the environment (such as lighting or working patterns) safer
  • Pay attention to more vulnerable staff like young staff or those who don’t speak English as their first language, who might be less likely to report something
  • Have policies for reporting instances of harassment including harassment by customers, allow for anonymous reporting and make sure staff have more than one trusted person they can go to, other than their line manager, if they have an issue, and that they know who they are
  • Use posters or notices to inform customers harassment is not acceptable
  • Where there is a large customer booking, make sure they are served by two staff, not a lone member of staff
  • Make sure managers know what to do if an allegation is reported
  • Remind staff that social activities are still associated with the workplace and zero tolerance to harassment still applies
  • Record any issues with customers

Further information