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Discrimination means treating someone differently because they belong to a certain group, this can relate to a number of circumstances within the workplace.

Workplace discrimination may be unlawful if an employee can show that they were treated differently because they hold certain protected characteristics.

Protected characteristics can include:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Pregnancy
  • Parenthood
  • Marriage
  • Civil Partnership
  • Religion or Sexual Orientation

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If you have lost your job due to one of the above characteristics, then you may be entitled to make a claim.

Examples could include, but are not limited to:

Disputes over pay

If you are not being paid equally as your work colleague, this could be considered unlawful discrimination. Pay discrimination between both male and female in terms of the employment contract is unlawful.  This can occur in salaries, benefits and bonuses.

Employees are able to claim equal pay with colleagues of the opposite gender. Especially when they are in the same employment and doing:

  • Work is more/less similar
  • Under evaluation, work is rated as equivalent
  • Different work but has equal value

Disputes over workplace regulations

Discrimination may arise if the regulations or conditions of the workplace are disadvantageous to employees with certain protected characteristics. This could include dress codes that discriminate against people of certain faiths or beliefs, for example, by banning the wearing of religious symbols.

  • “In 2015, in a survey of nearly 25,000 British workers, 30% said they had witnessed or experienced racial harassment or bullying at work.”

Age discrimination

If an employee is treated detrimentally because of their age, this is direct discrimination, unless the treatment can be justified. If employees over a certain age are placed at a disadvantage compared to their younger counterparts. This can be indirect discrimination, unless it is shown to be justifiable. It would also be unlawful to discriminate against younger but suitably qualified employees, on the presumption that they are simply too young.

Parents and carers

Discrimination could cover the refusal of flexible working arrangements requested by employees unless this can be justified. Anyone has the right to make a request to their employer for flexible working arrangements. They must have been continuously employed for 26 weeks, and they can make one request only in any 12-month period. There is no legal right of appeal against the refusal of a statutory application for flexible working. However, an employee may bring a claim to the employment tribunal in certain circumstances.

  • “Pregnant employees enjoy special statutory rights and must not be treated unfavourably for any reason related to pregnancy or maternity leave.”

Disability discrimination

Disability is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. If an employee with a disability is able to show that their rights have been breached. This can either be done by their employer or by somebody else who has been allowed to do so. Then they may have a claim for disability discrimination.

The UK offers its employees for the chance offers its employees protection under the reasonable adjustment act which ensures a comfortable and fair workplace.

  • “Pregnant employees enjoy special statutory rights and must not be treated unfavourably for any reason related to pregnancy or maternity leave.”

Reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act, 2010

The Equality Act 2010 protects employees, wherever possible, and to make reasonable adjustments to the workplace for disabled staff. It brings together 116 pieces of legislation into one whole single act. Some of the main legislation are, Equal pay act (1970), the Race Relations, the disability discrimination act and many more. The act also helps to promote a fair and equal society.

It is important to note that this duty is not limited to employees who have physical disabilities. This is because the Equality Act states that it is unlawful to discriminate against employees who have mental health conditions as well, such as depression.

What to do when you are faced with discrimination?

In order to process a discrimination, claim within workplace it is vital you contact a solicitor as soon as possible. Your solicitors will then take you through the necessary actions to ensure that your claim is processed fairly.

It is advised that you follow the guidance that the solicitors offer and also it is advised to follow a pre-measure such as speaking to your management about the discrimination that had occurred. However, if the discrimination is coming from your management then contact your solicitor immediately who will advise you on your next step.

Why work with us?

At Ackroyd legal, we have expert solicitors at hand to make sure this process goes as smoothly as possible. We also understand the hardship involved in dealing with the emotional hardships with dealing discriminatory ordeals.

Our team of expert experienced employment lawyers at Ackroyd Legal can provide all the expert legal advice and support that you need. Whatever your situation, please contact us to talk to a member of our team, and we will be very happy to help.

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