Discrimination at work solicitors
If you think that you have been subject to discrimination at work or in applying for work our employment law specialists can advise you on your situation.
Legal advice for discrimination in the workplace
Discrimination in the workplace is when someone is treated unfairly for any reason classed as a ‘protected characteristic’ under the Equality Act 2010. It is a particular type of unfair treatment at work, and is differentiated from harassment and bullying, or unfair dismissal, for example.
It is important to understand the legal nature of any unfair treatment you have suffered so that you can proceed with any claim in the correct manner. Protected characteristics are: age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage or civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; sexual orientation. Discrimination based on any of these characteristics is usually against the law.
Our award-winning team of specialist employment lawyers advise on every aspect of employment law.
Common questions about discrimination at work
Discrimination can be direct or indirect. Direct discrimination is when someone is treated unfairly because of one of the protected characteristics.
An example of direct discrimination would be a question in a job application form which asks whether you have any disabilities that will make doing the job difficult. Disability is a protected characteristic, so employers should instead ask if they need any ‘reasonable adjustments’ to complete the interview or any part of the process.
Indirect discrimination is when there are rules or arrangements in place that apply to a group of employees or job applicants which are in practice less fair to one of the protected characteristics.
An example of indirect discrimination would be a job advert which asks for 10 years’ experience, as this could discriminate indirectly based on age, excluding young people with the necessary skills from applying.
If you believe that someone has discriminated against you, the first course of action is to raise the issue informally with the employer. The next stage is to raise a formal grievance in relation to the alleged discrimination.
Should this fail to produce a satisfactory resolution, you can move towards making a claim to an employment tribunal. Our employment law specialists can advise you on your best course of action and guide you through the tribunal process should that be required.
It is against the law to discriminate against someone who has a condition or impairment that is considered a disability by law. Some conditions, such as cancer, are automatically protected under disability discrimination law as soon as they are diagnosed.
However, someone is also considered to have a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
So employers have a duty not to discriminate against someone due to a mental illness which meets the definition of disability. It is important to take early advice if you feel that you have been discriminated against due to a mental illness.
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