When disgraced U.K. Conservative politician Neil Parish was caught red-handed watching pornography on his mobile phone in the House of Commons last week, his defense was messy. He claimed to have inadvertently stumbled across the explicit content after searching for farming equipment — specifically Claas Dominator combine harvesters.
But, as the late U.K. Labour politician and former chancellor Denis Healey famously said: “It’s a good thing to follow the first law of holes; if you are in one, stop digging.”
At the end of April, the unseemly incident quickly escalated. Parish bowed to public pressure and announced his resignation admitting a “moment of madness.” The scandal, however, brought into sharp focus the similarities — and contrasts — between employment law in the U.K. and the U.S., and what is deemed to be inappropriate in the workplace. In this case, it was telling that Parish, who represents the Devon, England constituency Tiverton and Honiton resigned but was not fired.
This article was first published on DigiDay’s WorkLife platform in May 2022 – to continue reading please click here.