Every individual deserves to feel comfortable and accepted in their workplace. If you feel you are being treated differently due to a particular characteristic, you may be facing employment discrimination.
In certain instances, our employment team may be able to support you with bringing a discrimination claim. Call us free today on 0808 164 0808.
Preventing discrimination at work
The Equality Act 2010 seeks to prevent discrimination in the workplace. It sets out nine ‘protected characteristics’, making it illegal for you to be discriminated against on the basis of:
- Gender Reassignment
- Marriage or Civil Partnership
- Pregnancy and Maternity
- Religion or Belief
- Sexual Orientation
The Equality Act 2010 and surrounding law protects employees against discrimination before they commence work, during their employment, and on termination of their employment. The following areas of employment are safeguarded against discrimination:
- Employment terms and conditions
- Pay and benefits
- Promotion and transfer opportunities
You shouldn’t be discriminated against because of your age. If you’re considered “too young” for a role that requires an unrealistic number of years’ experience, or if you’re ignored for a promotion that you truly deserve due to being “too old”, this would be classified as age discrimination. You are entitled to exactly the same rights and treatment as the rest of the employees you work with, no matter what age.
Being disabled doesn’t change your rights as an employee. You are entitled to exactly the same rights and treatment as your colleagues. Where necessary, employers should make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to help disabled people applying to the company, as well as those employed by the company.
It’s unlawful to treat you unfairly because you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or because you recently gave birth. It’s also illegal to treat you differently because of an illness relating to pregnancy.
It is illegal for employers to treat employees differently because of their sex. This type of discrimination can be classed as direct, indirect, victimisation or harassment, and can also relate to gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity leave, and sexual orientation.
What should I do if I am being discriminated against?
In the first instance, you should make a formal complaint to your manager or Head of Human Resources. This is also known as a grievance. We may be able to help you put this together, as negotiating your company’s grievance procedure may not be straightforward and having expert legal assistance on hand can help to make sure that your rights are respected.
What if the issue can’t be resolved through the complaints procedure?
In cases where the discrimination has been too serious to allow for an amicable resolution, you may wish to seek advice with negotiating favourable severance packages, should you wish to leave your current employer and move on to a company that offers a fairer and more pleasant working environment.
Note: you have three months less one day from the most recent act of discrimination to take action, meaning you should act fast. We recommend you speak to one of our lawyers in the first instance. As part of the process,you’ll need to get in touch with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), who will aim to achieve early conciliation with your employer. However, our lawyers can assist in this process where appropriate.
Please be aware that the ACAS process can take up to around a month to complete, which will be taken from the three months you have to begin with. It’s important to act quickly in order to bring a tribunal claim. If the conciliation procedure is unsuccessful, we may be able to support you with the tribunal. Remember, it’s completely unlawful for an employer to treat you unfairly in the workplace. If you feel you’re being discriminated against, contact us today.