A revision to the Equality Act 2010 contained in a Private Members’ Bill being backed by the Government will make employers liable for harassment of their employees by third parties. The Sun has more.
PUB bosses fear they could have to hire “banter bouncers” to police boozy chats under proposed laws.
Rules to protect workers from being harassed may give them the right to sue if jokes or comments they hear offend them.
An update to the Equalities Act aims to stop people getting abused at work.
But critics say it will leave punters unable to shout at the telly or crack a joke without putting landlords at risk of being sued by upset staff.
They want explicit exemptions for jokes and sporting chat written into the new Worker Protection Bill.
Hugh Osmond, head of Punch Taverns, said: “How could we stop a group of people coming into a pub and having an offensive chat in the corner?
“You may even need extra people to try and police it. You wouldn’t find rules this strict in China or Russia.”
Tory MP Danny Kruger asked: “Will pubs be expected to put up signs saying, ‘No banter allowed’?”
The Government says the law will not stop free speech but “will ensure employers are legally liable if they fail to protect their employees”.
When Rishi Sunak was standing in the Conservative leadership election, he said he would review the Equality Act. Is this what he had in mind?
Stop Press: Watch me talking about the risk this Private Members’ Bill poses to free speech on GB News.
Stop Press: The Sun has a follow-up piece about this, urging Kemi Badenoch to “call time” on this proposal. Includes a short comment at the end by me.