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The Equality Act 2010 is concerned with discrimination and harassment in respect of the following protected characteristics:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation.

Employees, workers, job applicants and self-employed individuals have the right not to be discriminated against.

There are various types of discrimination that apply to most of the protected characteristics:

  1. Direct Discrimination: where someone is treated less favourably because of a Protected Characteristic.
  2. Indirect Discrimination: where certain acts, decisions or policies that do not intend to treat anyone less favourably have the effect of disadvantaging a group of people with a particular Protected Characteristic.
  3. Harassment: where someone 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.
  4. Victimisation: where an individual suffers a detriment when they have done (or might do) a Protected Act (that is, complaining about discrimination or bringing discrimination proceedings against someone).
  5. Instructing, causing, inducing or helping unlawful acts: where an individual instructs, causes, induces or help someone to (or attempt to) discriminate against, harass or victimise another person.

Defending discrimination claims can be expensive and time consuming so it is important to get things right within your business before such situations arise. It is good practice to ensure that you have an equal opportunities policy in your staff handbook that outlines how discrimination and harassment in the workplace will be dealt with. Askews Legal LLP can help you with drafting an appropriate policy or a staff handbook. For further information, refer to our Ask HR page.

If an allegation of discrimination has been made against your business or someone within your business, Askews’ employment law solicitors are here to help you. Whether a grievance has been raised, or you are on the receiving end of an employment tribunal claim, we have the legal expertise and experience to advise on the best way to resolve the dispute. Discrimination law is complex and it is best to seek advice at an early stage. Contact Askews today.

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.

Contact one of our Solicitors in Coventry: enquiries@askewslegal.co

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