Section 26(1) of the Equality Act 2010 defines harassment as unwanted conduct which has the purpose or effect of:
- violating the employee’s dignity; or
- creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.
The unwanted conduct must be related to one of the following protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. (E.g. unwanted conduct of a sexual nature could include inappropriate touching, sexualised comments and jokes, or downloading or displaying sexual or pornographic images, such as obscene screensavers.)