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A Warning to All Line Managers: Employee awarded £360,000 from sexual harassment tribunal

An award of nearly £360,000 has been granted to a trainee (mid-twenties) at National Grid, after her manager, Colin Higgins (mid-fifties), subjected her to sexual harassment.

National Grid power lines with the National Grid logo

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

As seen in The Daily Mail, Emma Tahir, a trainee project supervisor at National Grid, was repeatedly asked by Higgins to remove her jumper, made unwelcome physical advances, and even proposed marriage. The harassment extended to text messages and emails where he expressed romantic interest and inappropriate comments including whether the two of them would be "getting it on" if he were younger.

Despite an internal investigation, Higgins retained his position until Mr. Tahir resigned in 2021 and subsequently sued National Grid for harassment. The tribunal found her in favour and awarded her £357,000, including £40,000 for emotional distress and £10,000 for psychological harm. Higgins is no longer employed at the company.

The National Gris expressed regret and implemented measures for improved reporting and behaviour standards. "We are undertaking a full review of the processes we followed, and our priority now is to learn the lessons from this case to ensure that it never happens again."

How we can help

At Line Manager Academy, you will be equipped with the right knowledge to be able to handle and prevent difficult situations within your workplace. You will have the ability to create a trusting environment for your team. One where they will feel supported and able to approach you. Book a call with us today to discuss which training options you will benefit from.


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