Helping you maintain a compliant and productive working environment.
As an employer, you have certain responsibilities when it comes to avoiding and dealing with discrimination in your workplace. If a complaint is made and you do not manage it correctly, you could face having to defend your position in an Employment Tribunal claim brought by the employee – which can be a lengthy, costly and harmful process for your business. It is in your and your employees’ best interests to have adequate procedures in place to deal with unlawful discrimination complaints before they can be referred to a Tribunal.
The team at Partners Employment Lawyers are experts in UK discrimination law and practice. Our services are focused on helping you create and maintain a compliant and productive working environment and limit the impact of a complaint on your business. If you wish to discuss any workplace discrimination issue with our expert Employment Solicitors, please get in touch.
Workplace discrimination: the law
Businesses must not discriminate against employees on the basis of any of the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010. These characteristics are:
- Sex (for example, a business must not offer a male candidate greater benefits than a female candidate for the same post)
- Gender reassignment (for example, a business cannot treat an employee who is absent from work because of gender reassignment any worse than they would another employee who is off due to illness or injury)
- Pregnancy and maternity (for example, a business should not delay the promotion of a female employee because she is on maternity leave)
- Marriage and civil partnership (for example, a business must not refuse to promote a married employee because they believe the nature of the role would be better suited to an unmarried employee)
- Race, including ethnic or national origin, nationality and colour (for example, a business should not refuse to promote an employee on the basis that English is not their first language)
- Disability (for example, a business cannot dismiss a disabled employee simply for taking substantial periods of sick leave, if these periods are due to a disability)
- Sexual orientation (for example, a business must not refuse to hire an employee because they are in a same sex relationship)
- Religion or belief (for example, a policy that it is unlawful to prohibit headwear at work may discriminate against Sikhs who wear turbans for religious reasons)
- Age (for example, choosing not to interview a candidate because their application suggests they are nearing retirement age would be discriminatory)
Workplace discrimination: good practice
- Have a proper procedure in place for dealing with complaints of unlawful discrimination and make this accessible to your employees.
- Include details on how to make a complaint (both informal and formal), how investigations will be carried out and what will happen if unlawful discrimination is found (e.g. disciplinary action or a change in workplace practices to ensure the same thing does not happen again).
- Ensure you and your employees complete regular equality training.
How can Partners Employment Lawyers help?
We firmly believe that the best results are achieved when working in partnership with our clients. We will get to know your company and will work with you to ensure you are fully compliant with your legal obligations. Our people are thought leaders in discrimination and harassment, and we can share this knowledge with you through in-house equality training helping your company avoid disruptive and costly Tribunal claims. If matters do escalate, we provide expert legal advice and representation through our trusted partners Excello Law.
Workplace Discrimination Lawyers London
Our Employment Lawyers are based in London and work with business clients operating throughout England. To discuss any workplace discrimination concerns with our highly approachable and professional team, call 0207 374 6546 now or contact us online.