A high court judged has ruled that employees should be protected from sexual harassment or humiliation by members of the public as well as co-workers.
In a major shake-up of the sexual harassment laws, the high court ruling made it clear that employers could face legal action if they do not properly protect their staff members from sexual harassment by customers or clients.
Law firm Mace & Jones claims that the ruling could result in a rise in the number of claims made against small businesses.
Head of employment law at the firm, Martin Edwards, told the Morning Advertiser: "Both women and men would be protected from harassment in any job where they encounter the public - from pubs and hotels to hospitals and airports.
"The judge has given ministers just seven days to overhaul the equality laws, after ruling that the government has failed to meet its obligations under EU law.
"The Equal Opportunities Commission's (EOC) main target is the hotel and restaurant trade, but the ruling goes much further. Workers, women and men, would be equally protected."