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Discrimination in the workplace – what does it mean for a potential victim?

Jun 15, 2015

 Discrimination can take a number of different forms in the workplace and can be for a number of different reasons. The Equality Act 2010 outlines what amounts to discrimination and who is protected under the law.

The Equality Act says that certain characteristics are protected under the law and as a result you cannot be discriminated against at work because of:

  • Your age
  • Your sex
  • A disability
  • Marriage or civil partnership
  • Being pregnant or on maternity leave
  • Your race
  • Your religion or beliefs
  • Your sexual orientation
  • Gender reassignment

Therefore if you have any of these characteristics and you are being discriminated against because of them, you may have a claim against your employer.

In addition to the definition of protected characteristics, the Act talks about how you may be discriminated against. There are four ways. They are:

  • Direct discrimination – being treated less favourably than others because of a protected characteristic
  • Indirect discrimination – being affected by a policy, practice or procedure that applies to everyone, but affects you due to a protected characteristic
  • Harassment – being intimidated, degraded or humiliated because of a protected characteristic
  • Victimisation – being treated unfairly because you have made or supported a discrimination at work claim

The impacts on you can be wide and far reaching. Working in an environment where you feel threatened, uncomfortable or unaccepted can be a very unhappy time for you and can affect your health and your home life.

You should remember that discrimination is against the law and you can do something about it.

For help and advice about discrimination at work, please call Julian Cole on 01264 325805 and he will be happy to talk you through your options. If you would prefer to get in touch online, please fill in the enquiry form on our website or you can email our litigation team: litigation@bsandi.co.uk and we will respond as soon as possible.


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