GQ|Littler said the uptick in cases may be due to increased use of services such as WhatsApp

Research by specialist employment firm GQ|Littler has revealed the number of employment tribunals claims in which ‘banter’ played an integral part to the respondent’s defence increased by 45 per cent in 2021.

The firm said “banter” has increasingly been used in tribunals as justification for alleged discrimination and harassment. However, what one employee claims is “banter”, may be bullying or harassment, particularly if someone is subjected to discriminatory jokes on the basis of race, gender, nationality or sexual identity.

“Banter” is often cited in relation to harassment claims. Under the Equality Act 2010, unlawful harassment occurs where a person engages in unw...

Suzanne Townley
News Editor
Solicitors Journal

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