Defending discrimination claims can be very costly and time consuming for your business so it is important to get things right.
It is important to note that there is no qualifying service required to bring discrimination claims and the right not to be discriminated against is extended to not only employees, but workers, job applicants and self-employed individuals.
For an individual to bring a valid claim of discrimination against you, the claim needs to be based upon one of the following “Protected Characteristics” – Age, Disability, Gender Reassignment, Marriage and Civil
Partnership, Pregnancy and Maternity, Race, Religion or Belief, Sex and Sexual orientation.
There are various types of discrimination:
- Direct Discrimination – this is where you treat someone less favourably because of a Protected Characteristic.
- Indirect Discrimination – this is where certain acts, policies, procedures that do not intend to treat anyone less favourably, have the effect of disadvantaging a group of people with a particular Protected Characteristic.
- Harassment – this is where you (or someone employed by you) engages in unwanted conduct related to an individual’s Protected Characteristic which violates that individual’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.
- Victimisation – this is where an individual suffers a detriment when they have done (or might do) a protected act (i.e. complaining about discrimination or bringing discrimination proceedings against you).
It is beneficial to outline how discrimination and harassment in the workplace will be dealt with in a policy within your Staff Handbook. Our Employment Law Solicitors in Coventry can advise in connection with an allegation of discrimination, whether that be in a grievance or an employment tribunal claim or can assist in drafting an appropriate policy.
If you require advice and assistance in relation to an Employment Law issue relating to Discrimination in the workplace, please contact us on 024 7623 1000.