Banter is defined as the playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks but when does banter become harrassment?
In his recent article, top employment barrister Daniel Barnett has said that "the word 'banter' conjures up images of a two-way street, where both parties are equally in on the fun and where everyone's happy. But to a Tribunal Judge it means 'harassment that the employer is pretending isn't harassment'. But there's a point where banter spills into something unpleasant. That point may be immediate - a one-off comment or it may be something that bubbles away under the surface".
So when does banter become harassment?
- When it relates to a protected characteristic (such as age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation)
- When it's unwanted
- When it has a particular cause or effect
A good way of preventing harassment or inappropriate behaviour in the workplace, or being able to defend a legal claim is to provide regular training to your workforce on what is and isn't acceptable in the workplace, and about what to do if someone is behaving inappropriately.
We've developed an Appropriate Behaviour training session for just this purpose; in just 45 minutes we cover everything that your directors, managers, supervisors, team-leaders and workforce need to know.
We'd love to deliver this training to your team, please contact us for more details.
"What a thought-provoking session! It's safe to say that everyone thought twice about the way that they behave in the office following this session ..."