Allegations of discrimination are a problem many employers face at one time or another. Employment law protects employees where discrimination or harassment has taken place in relation to a person’s sex, gender reassignment, marriage (or civil partnership), pregnancy or maternity leave, race (including ethnic or national origin, nationality and colour), disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, or age. These are known as protected characteristics.
Unlike claims of unfair dismissal employees don’t need to have worked for their employer for a minimum period in order to bring a discrimination/harassment claim. There is also no limit to the amount of compensation that can be awarded where someone brings a successful claim of discrimination/harassment. Accordingly employees can try to bring discrimination claims when they’re unable to bring claims of unfair dismissal.
Acts of discrimination are not limited to people making overtly discriminatory comments, in fact, it’s rare that this occurs. Discrimination claims include claims that employers have policies that discriminate against a certain type of employee because they have a disproportionately adverse effect on them. Employers can also face claims that they have failed to make reasonable adjustments to assist disabled employees.
Our Harrogate based team of specialist employment solicitors have helped employers avoid and/or defend all types of discrimination claims including:
Direct discrimination, for example, where employees claim they: -Haven’t been promoted because of their race
Indirect discrimination, for example, where employees claim that:
If an Employment Tribunal accept that an employer has indirectly discriminated it is still possible to argue that the policy/requirement was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. So, using one of the examples above, justification for requiring Sunday working might be that the business is open seven days a week and has a history of struggling to get employees to work on Sundays.
Victimisation – where an employee/job applicant claims they have suffered a detriment as a result of doing a protected act. Examples include:
As you can see, our employment solicitors have vast experience of helping employers defend all types of discrimination claims. If you have a question or require advice for your business give us a call.
The law states that an employer may not be liable for acts of discrimination if it can show that it has an anti-discrimination policy and has trained its staff. Our experienced team can provide your business with comprehensive anti-discrimination training to managers and other members of your staff. The training can be provided at our Harrogate office or at an alternative venue to suit you (and subject to numbers).