“My manager treats me differently to colleagues”

Julian cole portrait.

Julian Cole

Senior Solicitor

Phone 01264 353411

Email jcole@bsandi.co.uk

A level playing field at work is a pretty basic requirement. Employees should feel valued for who they are, and be given the same opportunities as others to progress in their career and in the organisation.

But that is not always the reality. People are treated differently in various ways and for various reasons – some legitimate, some unlawful. And the challenge for employees who feel they are not being treated fairly is in distinguishing between the two.

Employers get things wrong from time to time. They may be unduly harsh on an employee whose mistake stems from a lack of training. They come down harder on one employee than they did on another in similar circumstances. But sometimes, negative treatment is connected to an employee’s personal characteristics. And when that happens, there is a real possibility that it could be unlawful discrimination.

Discrimination in the employment law context means less favourable treatment because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation. If you think, for example, that you are being left out of important meetings at work because you are a woman, that could suggest discrimination. It could mean that you are able to bring a claim.

Getting to that point, however, takes some careful preparation. It is usually best to raise the issue with your manager and HR and try to find a way of resolving things between yourselves. Speaking with an Employment Law solicitor can also be a useful step to take in the early stages, as they will be able to advise you on what to do and how to go about it. One of the key things to bear in mind is the treatment could be made up of a number of events (conversations, as well as actions and inactions) and so keeping good notes of everything that happens will be crucial to helping your case.

Another advantage of speaking with a lawyer early on is that they may be able to help you sort things out without having to take the serious step of resigning and/or bringing an employment tribunal claim. They’ll advise you on your options and help look after your interests, wherever possible by avoiding the litigious route – and even perhaps enabling the employment relationship to continue.

To speak to us about a work issue you’re having, contact us on 01264 353411 or email info@bsandi.co.uk.

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