Barmaid banter a thing of past

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Abuse Discrimination Bullying Harassment

Barmaid banter a thing of past
New discrimination laws could spell the end for banter with barmaids

New discrimination laws to make employers liable for customers behaviour may make banter with the barmaid a thing of the past.

Landlords who allow sexist jokes or even words like "darling"​ or "love"​ at the bar could be taken before tribunal and handed unlimited fines.

Operators will need to show they have tried to combat sexual harassment of workers by customers if they are to guard against the risk of compensation claims.

Pubs have been advised to put up warning notices telling punters that staff harassment will not be tolerated.

The new rules, pushed through by Women and Equalities Minister Harriet Harman, allow tribunals to award damages for injury to feelings if a case is proved. The regulations will come into force on Sunday.

MA legal editor Peter Coulson said: "The important thing to remember is that the employer is exposing their staff to the risk of discrimination or prejudice by allowing customers to get away with it - he is the operator of the premises and is in the position to stop it happening.

"The staff member does have to complain and show that the employer knew about it on at least two occasions and did nothing.

"The best thing for licensees to do is to take staff complaints extremely seriously."

Tony Payne chief executive of the FLVA added: "The weakness in the trade is that there has been rapport in the past - you just can't have it anymore. Make sure you understand the rules and have made your staff aware."

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