Discrimination at Work

Have you been discriminated against at work or during the recruitment process? Our employment solicitors are on hand to explain your options.

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There are laws in place to protect people from discrimination in the workplace. Under the Equality Act 2010, there are nine protected characteristics. This means that you can’t be treated unfavourably at work, or during the recruitment process, on account of your:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage or civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Age discrimination

The Equality Act’s interpretation of age discrimination can puzzle employers and employees alike. Our employment law solicitors offer advice on when discrimination is objectively and proportionately justified, and assistance with challenging unlawful age discrimination.

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Disability discrimination

Disability is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act. If you believe your employer or a prospective employer has breached your rights, our employment law solicitors will advise on whether you have a claim and help you conduct it. Common disability discrimination issues include dismissal or disciplinary action as a consequence of your disability. You may also have grounds for a claim if your employer failed to make reasonable adjustments in the workplace to accommodate for your disability.

Gender reassignment discrimination

You cannot be discriminated against on account of being transsexual. This applies to anyone who identifies as a different gender to the one assigned to them at birth. It does not matter whether or not you have undergone any kind of medical treatment. This discrimination might not be intentional or deliberate. Instead, it might arise as a result of a rule or policy.

Marriage or civil partnership

There are times when an employer treats an employee unfavourably, on account of the fact that he or she is married or in a civil partnership. One example is when a woman is dismissed following marriage, as her employer does not think married women should work. You cannot be put at a disadvantage because of your marriage or civil partnership status. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as the Catholic church not permitting married priests.

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Pregnancy and maternity discrimination

Unfortunately, many women are treated unfairly at work when they fall pregnant and take maternity leave. It is not uncommon for pregnant women to find themselves at the front of the line for redundancy, or to be dismissed for absences during her pregnancy. They may also be overlooked for promotions and training opportunities. This is unlawful and could give rise to a legal claim.

Racial discrimination

Employers must not discriminate against someone because of their race or ethnicity. Sadly, this does happen. Applicants may find that they lose out on jobs or promotions, or they may be the victim of racial harassment from other employees. Policies and procedures may also put an employee of a certain race or ethnicity at a disadvantage. These things are unlawful. We can advise whether you have faced racial discrimination at work, and what options are open to you.

Religious discrimination

Discriminating against someone on the grounds of their religion or belief is prohibited under the Equality Act 2010. This protection extends throughout the life of the employment relationship, from advertising vacancies through to termination. It also covers retirement benefits. If you believe your rights have been breached, our team of employment law solicitors can advise on whether you have a potential claim and help you conduct it.

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Sex discrimination

Sex discrimination is discrimination against someone on grounds of their sex. It is prohibited by the Equality Act 2010 at all stages of the employment relationship, including retirement. Direct discrimination – where someone is treated less favourably because of their sex – is not uncommon. However, indirect discrimination – where an employer applies a “provision, criterion or practice” (PCP) that puts the members of one sex at a disadvantage – is probably even more common. We can advise on both types of discrimination and help you bring a claim for damages.

Sexual orientation discrimination

Sexual orientation discrimination is discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. It is prohibited by the Equality Act 2010 at all stages of the employment relationship, including retirement. Direct discrimination, which cannot be justified, occurs most frequently but sexual orientation discrimination can also occur as indirect discrimination, victimisation and harassment. Our employment law solicitors are on hand to advise on all four types of sexual orientation.

Get expert legal advice

If you think you have been discriminated against at work, you need to get expert legal advice. Those who are unlawfully discriminated against are entitled to seek redress for the damages that have been caused. This might involve raising a grievance, negotiating a severance package or pursuing a claim at the employment tribunal.

Our employment solicitors understand how distressing it is to face discrimination in the workplace. We are here to ensure your rights are upheld. We will take the time to listen to your story before providing clear, practical legal advice. After speaking to us, you will have a better understanding of whether or not your legal rights have been breached, and if so, what you can do about it. If you choose to take action, we can represent you throughout proceedings, working hard to achieve the resolution you deserve.

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