What is discrimination?

Discrimination can unfortunately happen in your workplace and through a number of ways such as face to face, behind the computer, direct, indirect or in the form of harassment and victimisation. Whether an employee makes a claim, the employer discovers the situation or it continues unknown, we should be protecting our employees and putting in place the guidelines to prevent this from happening and stop those who are doing it.

Why does discrimination matter?

If discrimination is not controlled through having the right precautions in place, then staff are not protected and the company could be liable for a claim. Employees do not need a specific length of service to claim against discrimination and penalties against an employer can be uncapped so it is vital to ensure the right provisions are in place.

It is also important to remember that staff can be vulnerable to unfair, unequal or discriminatory treatment even before they commence work within an organisation i.e. in the recruitment and selection stages so it is important to act carefully in any situation. The Equality Act 2010 identifies 9 factors that employee’s can be discriminated against. These are:

  1. Age
  2. Disability
  3. Gender reassignment
  4. Marriage and civil partnership
  5. Pregnancy and maternity
  6. Race
  7. Religion or belief
  8. Sex
  9. Sexual orientation

The Equality Act 2010 therefore ensures that following this is a legal obligation for an employer and its workforce to follow.

How can we help you with discrimination?

As an employer if you find yourself faced with a claim or are made aware of discriminatory behaviour, we can help you identify the issue, work through the legal frameworks and advice you on the best way to resolve the situation. It is recommended to have an Equal Opportunities policy or statement of values or code of conduct to promote fair treatment to staff and prevent discrimination. We can produce this documentation for you and advice you to ensure this way of working is also applied to clients, customers and suppliers.

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