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The Equality Act 2010 protects employees from harassment in respect of all the protected characteristics except marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity. However, cases of harassment in relation to pregnancy and maternity may be brought as sex-related harassment claims.

There are three forms of harassment. For all forms, the employee must show that they were subjected to unwanted conduct. Unwanted conduct covers a wide range of behaviour.

The unwanted conduct must have the purpose, or effect of, violating the employee's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

The definition of "employment" under s.83(2) of the Equality Act 2010, is broader than the employment definition used for unfair dismissal and other employment claims. This means that the use of "employee" in this section should be read as including workers, apprentices, etc.