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 Discrimination at work solicitors

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 discrimination claims 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.


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Common questions about discrimination at work

What are examples of 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.

What are the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010?


Under the Equality Act 2010, certain characteristics are protected to prevent discrimination at work.

Protected characteristics include:

  • 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.

What are reasonable adjustments in the workplace for disabled employees?


Reasonable adjustments can include modifying workstations, providing specialised equipment, adjusting working hours, or offering additional support services. These adjustments aim to remove barriers that disabled employees may face in performing their job roles effectively.

Employers should engage in open communication with disabled employees to understand their specific needs and concerns. By doing so, they can tailor adjustments to suit individual circumstances and ensure that disabled employees feel comfortable and supported in the workplace.

What steps can I take if I feel I’m being discriminated against at work?


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.

Can a workplace discriminate against mental illness?


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.

Can job applicants file discrimination claims?


Employment tribunal claims can be pursued if job applicants believe they’ve been treated unfairly during the application process due to protected characteristics such as belief, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, race, religion, or disability during the application process.


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Call us for free on 0330 159 5555 or complete our online form below to submit your enquiry or arrange a call back.

Speak to us today on 0330 159 5555

Get in touch


Get in touch

Call us for free on 0330 159 5555 or complete our online form below to submit your enquiry or arrange a call back.