Dealing with discrimination in the workplace is never easy, but also, it should never be stood for. At Arlingsworth Solicitors, we have helped many clients over the years battle and put right workplace discrimination. Although we would always recommend getting legal advice in any case, we’ve put together this simple guide to help you understand what you can do to fight discrimination.
What is discrimination?
By legal definition, it is:
The unfair treatment of an employer or colleague on the basis of:
- marriage or civil partnership
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
This could mean verbal or written comments made, unfair work load, or refusal of promotions or awards.
Discrimination could take place at any stage of the employment process, during the recruitment stage, during your employment or after your employment has ended. You may also be able to claim discrimination if you are a part-time employee or fixed-term worker.
What can you do about discrimination?
The good news is that there are laws in place to protect employees against discrimination. Your employer should also have in place anti-discriminatory policies. There are equal opportunities provisions in UK Employment Law which strive to create a “level playing field” in the workplace. This means employers are obliged to employ, pay, train and promote people based only on their skills and how they do their job.
Firstly, in the case of possible discrimination such as comments or off-colour jokes, speak up about it and inform whoever made the comment or joke that it’s not appropriate.
If it continues, it is worth taking the matter up with supervisors or management. Ensure to keep copies of any emails, meetings or conversations to prove discrimination, or should you choose to make a claim down the line.
If the discrimination is coming from your employer or management, you may need to take the matter to an Employment Tribunal, after which you may be entitled to resign and claim compensation for lost earnings. Or, if the discrimination led to your being let go, you may be able to claim compensation, irrespective of how long you were employed.
If you can prove that you have been treated less favourably, you may be able to claim unlawful discrimination under UK Employment Law. Therefore, you can make a claim to an Employment Tribunal. Any claims should be made within three months of the date that the discrimination occurred.
In successful claims, the Employment Tribunal can make awards for injury to feelings or loss of earnings which may amount to several thousand pounds in serious cases.
Should you seek legal advice?
Discrimination cases can be very complicated, and so we would always recommend legal advice whenever discrimination occurs. An expert solicitor can help explain your options, make sure you’re making the right decisions, and ensure that you get the maximum amount of compensation should you be able to claim.
You can call Arlingsworth’s expert solicitors on 01273 696962, seven days a week. We’re always on hand to help you, and have lots of experience with Employment Law cases. Or, you can message us directly. We look forward to helping you.