Regular up to date training is essential for employees and will also protect employers against costly claims!
In the case of Allay v Gehlen the EAT found that an employer cannot rely on the “reasonable steps” defence to harassment where the training provided was “stale” and needed refreshing.
The claimant had been subjected to racist comments on a regular basis. The perpetrator thought it was no more than “banter”. The employer’s defence was that they had taken “reasonable steps” to prevent harassment as they had provided relevant training to all their employees, including the perpetrator.
However, the tribunal rejected the defence and the EAT upheld their decision. The training, which was given was over a year before the harassment, had become “stale”. “The fact that managers were aware that harassment had taken place meant that the Respondent should have appreciated that they needed to do more to prevent harassment and provide some further training”.
This should act as a clear warning to employers who have not reviewed or refreshed their training. When was the last time you updated your training programmes? We are supporting a number of clients on their training requirements and have annual training programmes scheduled. Speak to us to find out how we can help you?