When do the changes come into effect?
8 March 2024
What are some of the key changes to AGEE?
- Sexual harassment outside working hours – AGEE now broadens protection to cover sexual harassment outside of normal working hours.
- Person in charge – AGEE provides a definition of “sexual harassment by a position of power”, and “person in charge” as well as the corresponding liabilities where sexual harassment has been committed by those in such positions.
- Complaints mechanisms – “Small companies” were previously excluded from the requirement to establish and publish mechanisms for complaints of sexual harassment. AGEE now extends the obligation to small companies (i.e. employers with at least 10 employees but fewer than 30).
- Notifications to authorities – Employers must notify local authorities if they receive a complaint of sexual harassment and must further notify authorities on the outcome of investigations. Failure to do so could result in the investigation being declared invalid due to failing to comply with the legal notification steps.
- Action against the accused – AGEE now expressly states that the accused may be suspended, transferred to another position and can be terminated within 30 days of the result of the investigation in very serious cases.
- Medical care and counselling – Employers must make workplace changes and provide medical care or counselling even when a formal complaint of sexual harassment has not been lodged but the employer has become aware of it through other sources.
- Direct reporting to authorities – Victims can now file a complaint directly with local authorities if the accused is a “person in charge” or if they are not satisfied with the results of an investigation / disciplinary action imposed by the employer.
- Time limits for bringing a complaint – The time limits for the victim to file a complaint have been extended to one year after resignation or ten years after the sexual harassment has ended.
So, what should employers do now?
Employers should familiarise themselves with the new requirements under the AGEE and review their internal processes and policies to ensure compliance. If you need any support with this or would like any further information, please get in touch with a member of the MDR ONE team.