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Employment Law Advice — Employees

Discrimination in the workplace

It is an unfortunate reality that employees and other workers are discriminated against on account of various characteristics – age, sex, race and disability being the most common.  

It is an unfortunate reality that employees and other workers are discriminated against on account of various ‘protected characteristics’ – age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

Types of discrimination

There are several different types of discrimination and other prohibited conduct set out in the Equality Act 2010 that apply to most of the nine protected characteristics:

  • Direct discrimination
  • Indirect discrimination
  • Discrimination arising from disability
  • Failure to make reasonable adjustments
  • Harassment
  • Victimisation
  • Instructing, causing, inducing and/or helping discrimination

In limited circumstances, some of the above examples of discrimination can be successfully defended (and held to be lawful) such as where there is an occupational requirement for the alleged discriminatory action, where an employer is taking “positive action” or where the employer is complying with a statutory obligation.

Compensation

Compensation for successful discrimination claims is unlimited and, as well as compensation for any financial losses attributable to the discrimination, it can include sums for injury to feelings and personal injury.

Time limits

If you think you may have been discriminated against by your employer (past, current or future) you should seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity as there are very strict time limits for claims to be presented to the Employment Tribunal.  Normally you must issue your claim within three months from the date of the discriminatory act complained of.

Let us help 

We have a team of specialist employment law solicitors who can advise you on the merits of your potential discrimination claims.  We can help you analyse whether discrimination has occurred and what options you have going forwards.