Requiring employees to handle “lads’ mags”- publications with “naked women on their covers,” may subject supermarkets and other retail stores to liability for sexual harassment and discrimination under the UK Equality Act 2010. This, according to a letter published in the Guardian and written by top employment lawyers in the UK (or, as it states, “14 equalities lawyers” from “six legal sets”).
"High-street retailers are exposing staff and, in some cases, customers to publications whose handling and display may breach equality legislation. Displaying lads’ mags and pornographic papers in mainstream shops results in the involuntary exposure of staff and, in some cases, customers to pornographic images.”
Indeed, the letter is less of a lawyer’s opinion and more of a threat: “If they fail to act, the lawyers threaten to bring a test case and will support employees uncomfortable with images of naked and near-naked women on magazines,”according to The Guardian.
The paper quotes the British Retail Consortium as responding that: "BRC members don’t sell anything it isn’t legal to sell and they have long followed joint industry guidelines, as well as taking their own independent voluntary action, to make sure that front covers which may concern some people are displayed discreetly.”