Discrimination at work
The sad truth is that discrimination at work is still a problem faced by many. For those who are affected, it is generally very distressing and dehumanising.
The Equality Act 2010 is in place to protect employees and workers from discrimination. It sets out 9 characteristics, known as the Protected Characteristics which are:
It is these protected characteristics which are the subject of equality law in the UK.
Unlawful discrimination can take a number of forms including:
Indirect discrimination: This is where a policy, procedure or practice (a PCP) is applied to everyone but it puts (or would put) a group of people with a protected characteristic at a disadvantage compared to others, and the practice cannot be justified. An example would be a requirement to work full-time. This could disadvantage women as a group because they are more likely to have caring responsibilities for children than men, and they are therefore more likely to want to work part-time.
Harassment: Harassment is where a person engages in unwanted conduct towards another which relates to a protected characteristic and which has the purpose or effect of violating their dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. It also applies to a situation where someone is treated less favourably because they rejected or submitted to certain kinds of harassment such as sexual harassment.
Victimisation: This is where someone is treated badly because they brought a discrimination claim, complained of harassment, or helped someone else with a discrimination claim.
Disability discrimination: In the case of disability, there are additional rights including protection from unfavourable treatment because of something arising as a consequence of a disability (such as a high rate of sickness absence), and the requirement for employers to make reasonable adjustments.If you feel that you have been discriminated at work, get in touch with us for an appointment. We offer an initial free 30 minute telephone consultation to talk to you about the situation you are facing and about how we can help. Talking to a solicitor often makes people feel more empowered. Knowing your rights and how you can fight for those rights is a first step to feeling heard.
From there, we can:
- Help you to complain or raise a formal grievance
- Negotiate compensation or a managed exit from your job by way of a settlement agreement
- Help you to register with Acas for Early Conciliation and negotiate on your behalf
- Issue a claim in the Employment Tribunal